A pensioner was tricked into buying over £1,000 worth of iTunes vouchers by scammers who convinced her she owed them hundreds of pounds.
The 72-year-old was called by a group claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs, saying she owed £1,300 to the tax man.
Having threatened to send police officers to her home, the fraudsters demanded the payment in Apple iTunes vouchers.
On January 13, the pensioner, from Beswick, north Manchester, bought £1,300 worth of the gift cards from Asda and Currys.
She then called the offender back and handed over the voucher codes in an effort to pay back the "debt".
Only after the victim told a family member did she realise that she had been tricked.
Police are now warning members of the public to be vigilant against this phone scam.
Constable Amanda Simmonds said: “This scam is the work of a cruel and heartless confidence trickster and we would like to warn the public not be taken in."
Constable Simmonds added that it was likely the fraudster had already contacted other unsuspecting victims.
"If you receive an unsolicited call from someone purporting to be from HMRC or the tax office and asking for payment of a debt you did not know you owed, treat this with the utmost suspicion," she added.
“Similarly, I would like to ask members of staff at supermarkets and other stores to be wary of elderly or seemingly vulnerable people buying large amounts of iTunes vouchers."
If you believe you have been the victim of this scam, or you have any information which may assist police enquiries, please contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.