The HMRC is warning taxpayers about a scam involving iTunes gift cards. This scam has already successfully conned people out of thousands of pounds.
How to avoid iTunes gift card scam
The HMRC said the iTunes tax scam goes like the following:
- Scammers cold-call people pretending to be an HMRC member
- They say you owe a large amount of tax that can only be paid off through digital gift cards, like an iTunes gift card
- They tell you to go to a local shop to buy it, then to read the redemption number over the phone
- The scammers will then buy things using the gift card
These scammers often target the elderly. They will also use harassment and intimidation to try and get what they want. The HMRC said the "vast majority" of victims are over 65. The average financial loss was £1,150 each.
How to avoid the iTunes tax scam
The HMRC will never request the settling of a tax debt through this type of method. The HMRC will reach out to taxpayers but only through certain methods.
When does the HMRC call you?
The HMRC often communications through letters and emails. But, it can telephone taxpayers under the following circumstances:
- Through Kantar Public, asking you to participate in a survey
- If you're self-employed and receiving Working Tax Credit for a number of years
- It may send text messages about debt management
How to report tax scams
If you suspect you've encountered a tax scam via phone, email or text, you can report it to the HMRC.