Warning after scammers claiming to be IRD request iTunes gift cards

Police are warning people to be wary of calls coming from people claiming to be from the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

Callers claiming to be from the IRD have told targets of the scam they owe them money, and a warrant has been issued for their arrest.

Police say they then request the victim buy iTunes gift cards and send them the activation codes.

"Under no circumstance will IRD ever request payment in iTunes gift cards," a spokesperson said.

Anyone who gets a call from the scammers should hang up immediately. People who are not sure if they are receiving a legitimate call should hang up and then call the IRD back through their main number.

It's not the first time the IRD has been used as the cover for a scam operation.

In July 2018 a sophisticated email scam claimed the recipient was due a large tax refund, and asked them to click a link that took them to website where it can be claimed.

IRD chief information security officer Doug Hammond said at the time it was quite a sophisticated operation, but there were some clues the email was not legitimate.

"Firstly look where the email is from. If it doesn't come from an address that ends with ird.govt.nz then be very suspicious.

"Secondly look at the link where they are trying to direct people to claim the refund. Hover over the link with your mouse and make sure the web address is for a real Inland Revenue website.

"Don't click on it."