Gloucestershire Constabulary has been alerted to recent incidents of telephone scams. These scams follow a similar pattern where a householder receives a telephone call from someone tricking the householder into believing they are due for a payout, perhaps from their bank or a PPI refund. They persuade people, using very clever and manipulative means, that in order to receive the money they are 'owed' they need to pay an upfront fee. This can be in various forms including the purchase of Post Office postal orders that someone will come and collect, or the purchase of gift cards, including iTunes vouchers.
A victim in Tetbury was persuaded to buy a £125 iTunes gift card on the promise of receiving a £2,500 PPI payment he was told he was owed. After the card was purchased, the caller asked the victim to give the 16-digit code on the back of the card over the phone. The victim realised he had been scammed when he continued to receive calls asking him to buy more iTunes vouchers.
Officers are warning the public of these scams and offering the following advice:
- Be suspicious of an unexpected phone call offering you a big pay out for an unknown reason – if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
- Do not provide money or vouchers to any company you are not familiar with, even if they claim to pay you back.
- If in doubt, take their details and tell them you’ll call them back. In the meantime, call police on 101 to seek advice.
Your bank or any legitimate organisation will never call you asking you to buy postal orders or gift cards, or ask you for bank details or passport details. Please make your family, friends and neighbours aware of these scams, especially the elderly and vulnerable.
Please look at our website for information on what to do if you think you are the victim of a scam. iTunes also have a link on their website.