POLICE are warning residents to watch out for an iTunes scam where fraudsters, claiming to represent organisations are asking to be paid in iTunes vouchers.

A number of reports across the county including in Andover, have found victims being persuaded to buy iTunes vouchers at shops and give the serial numbers to the con-artists which are then sold on.

Cases have heard fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC, BT and payday loan providers. 

One 78-year-old woman was called on 7 February by a man claiming to be from HMRC, who told her she owed hundreds of pounds and may have to go to court.

He told her to buy iTunes vouchers to the value of the debt and then tell him the serial numbers.

When the man called her a day later, asking for more money, she became suspicious and reported the scam.

Reports of the con have also been received in Bordon, Chandlers Ford, Fleet and New Milton.

Sarah Cohen, crime prevention advisor at Hampshire Constabulary, said: “We know that those fraudsters who call in this way can often be very convincing, making money out people who are often vulnerable.

“No reputable organisation will ask for payment in iTunes in this way. If you get a call like this, hang up and report it to us via 101.

“If you have friends or family who you think may be vulnerable to this type of fraud, please make them aware of our advice.

“We would also like those that work in shops to be vigilant. If you see someone looking confused at a voucher stand, or trying to buy a large amount of vouchers, talk to them. Tell them you think they may be involved in a scam and you are there to help. You can call police on 101 to report your concerns - we need to know about these crimes and we can also help the victim.”

Police are reminding people to protect themselves by using the following advice: 

- Never give personal or bank account details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly

- Never tell anyone your PIN number

- If you have given out information which could compromise your bank security in any way, call your bank to cancel your cards as soon as possible

- Never hand over your card, money or valuables to someone at the door to be sent off elsewhere

- If you are concerned about an unsolicited phone call from someone that you do not know, who asks you to hand over money please report this to police as a suspicious incident by calling 101.

Anyone who is concerned about similar incident should contact police by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, call 999.