ALERT: South Yorkshire residents warned about bogus debts and taxes scam

South Yorkshire residents are being urged not to fall victim to a scam which left one elderly victim hundreds of pounds out of pocket.

Scammers claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs have been cold calling and texting members of the public and tricking them into paying bogus debts and taxes using iTunes gift cards.

Crime prevention organisation Action Fraud said one victim, an 87-year-old man, was phoned by fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC who said there was an arrest warrant out in his name.

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They told him it would be cancelled if he bought £500 in iTunes gift cards at Tesco.

The man bought the cards and gave them the serial numbers but reported them when the caller asked for a further £1, 300 in vouchers.

A spokesperson for Action Fraud said: "HMRC will never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ever ask for payment in this way.

"Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephones display.

"If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately.

"Report fraud and cyber crime and receive a police crime reference number."