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.

04 December 2020
New Gift Card Legislation Urgently Needed
Northern Ireland needs new legislation on gift cards, following the news that Topshop, part of the Arcadia group, has introduced new rules restricting the use of vouchers for shoppers, having gone into administration The Arcadia group of shops, which includes Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burtons, went into administration on Monday.
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.
14 May 2021
Cannabis Factory Discovered In Newry
A cannabis factory has been discovered by police in Newry. Detectives said the seizure at a house in Annalong was worth almost £60,000. Detective Constable McGaffin said: “Detectives, alongside both Neighbourhood and Local Policing colleagues conducted a search at residential premises at the Main Street area of Annalong.
23 November 2020
Police Appeal For Information On Burglaries In Holywood And Dundonald
The PSNI have issued two separate appeals for information on burglaries in Holywood and Dundonald. Detectives are appealing for information following a report of a burglary of a house in Holywood on the evening of Friday 20th November.
23 November 2020
PSNI Officers To Continue To Use Spit and Bite Guards
All serving police officers are to be issued with Spit and Bite Guards for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic. The guards were first introduced in March 2020 to COVID19 Response Teams, Custody Staff, Armed Response Unit and Cell Van Crews.