31/07/2017

PSNI Issue Warning Over HMRC Payment Scam

The PSNI have urged the public to protect themselves against fraudsters claiming to represent HMRC and trick them into making a bogus payment.

Police report that people are being contacted in a variety of methods and, in some instances reported, the fraudsters ask for payment in iTunes gift card voucher codes because they can be easily redeemed and easily sold on. It is understood that 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 of their card over the phone.

There have been a number of recent reported incidents and, while some of these have been unsuccessful, in one case an older person lost a significant quantity of cash before police intervened.
News Image
Issuing the warning, Superintendent Simon Walls said: "Police are urging members of the public to always air on the side of caution with any text, call, email or letter asking for payment or personal details in order to release money, refund fees, pay lottery wins or supply a holiday, giveaway or service. HMRC will never contact you by telephone and ask for payment of tax arrears by iTunes vouchers or similar payment methods.

"Scammers are inventive and can be very convincing, but each scam is designed to tempt you to drop your guard. If you are at all suspicious about a call that you receive, hang up and phone the organisation that the person is purporting to represent to check their authenticity. Ideally make the call from another telephone so you can be sure the original caller has not remained on the line.

"If you have received a call of this kind, or are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it to Action Fraud via their website actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040, or call police on the non-emergency number 101."

(MH/LM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

23 January 2012
Cashless Payment System Extended
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has announced the extension of a trial cashless payment system to a number of cities/towns across Northern Ireland. Following the success of the initial trial of the first cashless payment scheme introduced in Belfast a year ago, the scheme will now be rolled out in Newry, Londonderry, Lisburn, and Omagh.
20 March 2020
Shots Fired At Houses In Co Antrim
Police have said it is by "sheer luck" that no one was injured when shots were fired at two properties in Co Antrim last night. A lone gunman targeted the houses in Rasharkin's Moneyleck Park at around 9.50pm on Thursday night, 19 March.
18 March 2020
Police Hunt Pair Over L'Derry Fraud
Police in L'Derry are hunting two men over attempted frauds at businesses in the area. An investigation has been launched following two attempted distraction scams. One of the suspects distracts a staff member while another uses the card reader to refund large sums of money into their account.
10 November 2010
'Don't Tax Part Time Police Gratuity', Says DUP
Those who served part time in NI's police should be treated in the same way as those who served in the Army. Stormont First Minister and DUP party leader, Peter Robinson has repeated an earlier call for the recognition payment just announced for Reserve police officers not to be subject to tax or national insurance deductions.
22 October 2012
Universal Credit Updates Announced
Nelson McCausland has updated the Assembly on the new Universal Credit system. Following discussions with Lord Freud, Conservative Minister for Welfare Reform, Social Development Minister McCausland has confirmed changes will be made to the new system.