CON artists pretending to represent the government swindled an unfortunate Chester resident out of £2,000 of iTunes vouchers.

Police are now warning people about the scam, which has seen three people in the city targeted in the past few days.

The crooks, claiming to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or the Courts, told victims they were being investigated for an outstanding balance.

They then informed them they would be arrested unless they settled their debt with vouchers for online music store iTunes within two hours.

The victims were then advised to visit a high street supermarket or electronics store to buy the vouchers and then call back to provide the serial numbers from the vouchers.

Detective Inspector Carlos Brunes, of Cheshire CID, said: “In each of these cases people have been told that they must purchase hundreds of pounds worth of vouchers or face the prospect of being arrested; which has caused anxiety and concern for all of the victims.

“Sadly, one person did fall victim to the scam and handed over £2,000 of iTunes voucher codes. Thankfully the other two victims were stopped by vigilant store staff. Following these reports, we are working closely with local supermarkets and electronics stores to help prevent vulnerable residents from purchasing large quantities of vouchers.

“I would also like to remind local residents that HMRC and the Courts would never call you and ask you to settle a balance over the phone using vouchers. I advise anyone who believes that they may have been a victim to call us on 101.”

Anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud should call Cheshire Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.