Last Christmas saw a massive outbreak of the iTunes gift card scam where fraudsters contacted victims impersonating the HMRC and convincing them to buy these vouchers to clear their supposed debt. We are seeing a fresh outbreak with victims being contacted by fraudsters claiming to be their bank investigating suspicious activity on their card, they are then asked to purchase gift cards from Currys.
The victim is then asked to read out the numbers from the vouchers. The number is all the criminals need to use the vouchers and the victim is then out of pocket. Criminals have used a variety of gift cards for their schemes including iTunes, Currys, Argos, Asda and others. They impersonate many different organizations including banks, HMRC, debt collectors and even the Police. Of the thousands of cases reported to ActionFraud every year the average loss per victim up to 2018 was a hefty £579.
LEGITIMATE ORGANIZATIONS WILL NEVER ASK FOR PAYMENT WITH GIFT VOUCHERS. IF “THEY” DO THEN THEY ARE NOT WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE. IT’S A SCAM
Tips and Advice
- Gift Cards – can only be used to purchase goods and services from the retailer named on the card itself. If anyone is convincing you otherwise, this is a sign of a scam.
- Remember – that neither the Police nor your bank will ever ask you to purchase goods for any reason, especially not because of fraud.
- Hang-up – If you are not 100% sure of the identity of the caller, just hang-up. Look up the organization’s customer or fraud support online and call that number to verify.
- Pressure – legitimate organisations will not pressure or intimidate you to act in a certain way, if someone is it’s a big giveaway that it’s a scam.
- Go directly – if someone claims that you owe a debt, then contact the organisation in question to verify, (find their number online, do not use the number the caller gives you).
- Bin it – fraudsters are contacting victims in a variety of ways; voicemails, texts, calls, emails. End suspicious calls immediately. Delete unsolicited texts and voicemails.
Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud along with the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are here to help members make better decisions and avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.
For further information or for advice and assistance regarding any potential scam, call Reassura on 0800 888 6400