Police are warning people to be on their guard after an attempt to con a Burntwood woman with a phone scam.
The victim was contacted by an automated phone call claiming to be from HMRC on Monday (June 27).
She followed the instructions and was then connected to a man who said she owed a large amount of money in tax and needed to pay it immediately as there was a court warrant in place.
The woman was then told to go to a unit in Lichfield and buy as many iTunes vouchers as she could in £50 and £100 denominations. The caller then became increasingly aggressive towards the victim, making threats of large fines and told her not to tell anyone what the iTunes vouchers were for.
She did not make any payments and immediately reported the call to the police.
A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said: “This type of fraud is impacting on communities with a number of reported crimes across the county.
“Victims are being contacted in a variety of methods by fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC and are told they owe an outstanding debt. In the hundreds of cases reported in the past month, the fraudsters all ask for payment in iTunes gift card voucher codes.
“In some cases callers claim to be from a PPI company and state that a large sum of money is waiting to be claimed. The fraudsters again ask for iTunes vouchers to be purchased.
“Fraudsters are now moving onto iTunes gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and easily sold on. 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.”
Police say they are currently investigating a number of calls of this type, including ones in Lichfield.
Anyone with any information on the Burntwood incident is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 331 of 27 June.
People can also reported suspected fraud calls to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.