A STRATFORD-UPON-AVON woman has handed over £11,400 in iTunes vouchers to people pretending to be from the Inland Revenue.
A man claiming to be from the Inland Revenue called the woman, who is in her 60s, on Tuesday, and told her she owed £10,000 after failing to complete tax returns.
He said and that failure to pay in the subsequent 24 hours would result in the police attending her home and car being seized.
The man told the victim that the money must be paid in iPhone gift cards and instructed her to go to a number of stores in Stratford-upon-Avon and the surrounding area to purchase them.
The £11,400 worth of gift cards were purchased from six different stores.
Once she had collected the gift cards the suspect asked her to remove the security tape from the back of the card and read out the serial numbers.
Detective Sergeant Jordan Baker, of Warwickshire Police, said fraudsters were beginning to use iTunes gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and easily sold on.
He said the scammers don’t need the physical card to redeem the value and instead get victims to read out the serial code on the back over the phone.
DS Jordan Baker said: “As you would expect, the victim is extremely distressed following this incident. We’re doing all we can to support her and identify those responsible.
“This is the first time we have seen this tactic used by offenders and we’re keen to make the public and shop workers aware to in order prevent others falling victim.
“If you are ever suspicious that someone is trying to defraud then please call the police immediately. Anyone who is calling you legitimately will have no issue with you checking on them.
“If you work in a shop and are concerned that someone making a purchase such as this is being blackmailed then refuse the transaction and please call the police straight away. It might be nothing or you might be able to stop another person falling victim; we will be able to advise.”