Indian nationals targeted in immigration scam, asked to pay in iTunes vouchers

Police are aware of several cases where people have purchased between $500 and $5000 worth of iTunes vouchers for the scammers. Photo / iStock
Police are aware of several cases where people have purchased between $500 and $5000 worth of iTunes vouchers for the scammers. Photo / iStock

Several Indian nationals living in New Zealand have been targeted in an elaborate phone scam in which they're told they're wanted for tax evasion and must pay up with Apple iTunes cards to avoid deportation.

Police are aware of several cases where people have purchased between $500 and $5000 worth of iTunes vouchers for the scammers, who claim to be calling from Immigration New Zealand.

"The callers are persistent and aggressive," Counties Manukau district prevention manager Inspector Dave Glossop said.

"They have personal details of the person they are scamming which could make the call sound genuine."

The call might also appear to come from Immigration New Zealand.

Calls might also appear to come from an 04 (Wellington) or an 09 (Auckland) prefix.

People should be aware New Zealand government agencies such as Immigration or Inland Revenue would never call, email or text demanding payment or threatening deportation, police said.

Banks would never call and ask for online banking passwords. These agencies would also never use money transfer services such as Western Union.

"Our advice to anyone who is targeted by this scam is to hang up immediately," Mr Glossop said.

"Warn others and prevent your friends and family from becoming a victim of this scam."

Reports of people being targeted in the Tasman area are also emerging.

Police advice

• Hang up immediately.

• If it doesn't seem right, be cautious, double-check details first.

• Do not pay money to anyone you have never met.

• Look after your personal details in the same way you would your wallet and other possessions.

• Be aware of common scams. For example, banks, Immigration New Zealand or Inland Revenue never email, call or text customers to ask for money to be sent using money transfer services.

- NZ Herald

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