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Last line of defence

09 February 2018

HMRC has written to the CEOs of the UK’s major retailers urging them to share details of iTunes scam with all their staff, so that they can act as the last line of defence against fraudsters.

The high-profile iTunes phone scam is still conning many vulnerable and elderly people out of thousands of pounds. Just last week an 81 year old man lost £20,000 after being repeatedly targeted by the fraudsters. Two Tesco Linwood staff members also stopped one of their customers being conned out of £1,000 by these impersonators.

The scammers cold call their victims and impersonate HMRC members of staff. They are told they owe large amounts of tax, which they can only pay off through Apple’s iTune vouchers. Victims are told to go to the local shop and buy these vouchers and then read out the redemption code to the scammer. The conmen then sell on the codes or purchase high-value products!

Following HMRC’s recent awareness campaign several workers across the UK have warned customers buying hundreds of pounds worth of iTunes vouchers that they may be about to fall victim to the scammers. Since 2016 there have been 1,500 reports of this scam. the vast majority of the victims are aged over 65 and the average loss has been £1,150 each.

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