A 70-year-old woman was scammed out of thousands of pounds through a scam involving iTunes vouchers
Between May 1 and 13, the victim received various phone calls from offenders claiming to be from HMRC. The callers stated that the victim had underpaid her tax and owed the Inland Revenue a significant sum of money.
The victim, from Rickmansworth, was told to go to the Apple store at the Intu shopping centre in Watford and purchase £4,500 worth of iTunes vouchers.
The caller then asked her to provide him with the codes from the vouchers.
The victim went on to purchase a further £2,400 and £15,000 worth of vouchers in two separate transactions.
Between May 16 and 17, a second victim, a man in his 80s from Northwood, was contacted and again told that he had unpaid in tax, to the sum of £22,000.
He was also instructed to go to the Apple store and purchase £10,000 worth of vouchers. On this occasion, staff intervened and prevented him from buying them.
Detective Sergeant Jon Leak, from Hertfordshire Police, said: “While we have been made aware of numerous scam phone calls across the county, this is a new method which we haven’t previously seen in Hertfordshire and I would urge people to remain vigilant if they receive calls of a similar nature.
“Unfortunately, these fraudsters are very convincing and their actions can have a devastating effect on their victims. Our advice remains the same, if you aren’t sure, end the call and contact the police on 101. Remember to wait at least five minutes, or use a different number, to ensure you are not reconnected to the offender.”
Det Sgt Leak added: “I would like to hear from anyone else who has been contacted in similar circumstances, as the information could greatly assist our investigation.”
For further information about phone scams and how to avoid becoming a victim, please visit www.herts.police.uk/PhoneScams