There have been a number of reports of a particular telephone scam currently doing the rounds.
The scam relates to a male calling people at home and claiming to be from the Department of Justice and alleging that the recipient was due the Department a sum of money. The man advises the victim that they can only repay debt in Apple iTunes vouchers, sometimes running into many thousands of pounds.
The Department of Justice would never accept payment for any outstanding taxes in Apple iTunes vouchers. Neither the Department of Justice nor Apple are a part of any such scheme.
If you receive a call from anyone using this or a similar scam, please do not speak with them; they are criminals trying to defraud you and steal your money.
1. hang up and get a pen and notebook.
2. lift the phone and listen for a dialling tone.
3. once you hear that, dial 1471 and note the number which the fraudster called from
4. note the current time and date.
5. phone the Police on the non-emergency number of 101 and report the incident.
There are a number of uncertainties about this scam, such as how the fraudster obtains the victim's phone number and how he selects localities to target, as well as the identity of the fraudster himself.
Police Scotland is investigating all reports but in the meantime, if you receive a cold-call from a stranger whose first act is to alarm you with their message and the rest of the call relates to money changing hands, please STOP, think about what they said and ask yourself "Could this be a scam?". If you have the slightest doubt, do not follow their instructions at all; instead discuss it and seek advice from someone you trust and if you feel it may have been a scam, please report it to Police Scotland. Better to be safe than sorry.
If you would like security advice on how to keep yourself or your property more secure, please give Police Scotland a call at the Crime Reduction Unit on the Police Scotland non-emergency number of 101 and they will be only too pleased to help.
Constable McKinney can be reached at
Crime Reduction Unit,
North East Division,
Nigg Police Office
230 Abbotswell Crescent, Nigg,