#WeekOfAction – The iTunes Scam Date published: 15th October 2018 10.40am

Today as part of its rogue trader initiative Cheshire police are warning residents about the iTunes scam.

This is a technique used by fraudsters to extract iTunes voucher codes from vulnerable people.

Between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2018, 11,329 incidents involving iTunes vouchers have been reported nationally, resulting in £6,561,380 being lost to fraudsters.

On each occasion the victim receives a call claiming that they have an outstanding balance which needs to be settled urgently or they will be arrested.

They are then informed that the only way to pay the debt is using iTunes vouchers.

The victims are advised to visit a high street store to purchase the vouchers and must then call back the hoax caller and provide them with the codes from the vouchers to settle their debt.

Detective Chief Inspector Karen Jaundrill said: “The iTunes scam is particularly disturbing and can be extremely worrying for the victims.

“On each occasion the victims have been told that they must purchase thousands of pounds worth of vouchers or face the prospect of being arrested; which has caused anxiety and concern.

“While the majority of victims did not fall for the scam, sadly we are aware of a number of victims who have lost thousands of pounds.

“As part of our ongoing work to prevent this type of fraud we’re working closely with supermarkets and convenience stores to prevent vulnerable residents from purchasing large quantities of vouchers.

“I’d also urge residents to talk to any vulnerable friends or family about the scam to help ensure that nobody else falls victim.

“The message is clear - no reputable company, nor any government organisations, would ever call you and ask you to settle a balance over the phone using vouchers, nor would they threaten to arrest you.”

“I’d urge anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud to contact us on 101 or alternatively contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”