Scammers push people to pay with iTunes gift cards

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One thing we know about scammers — they want money, and they want it fast. That’s why, whatever the con they’re running, they usually ask people to pay a certain way. They want to make it easy for themselves to get the money — and nearly impossible for you to get it back.

Their latest method? iTunes gift cards. To convince you to pay, they might pretend to be with the IRS and say you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay back taxes right now. Or pose as a family member or online love interest who needs your help fast. But as soon as you put money on a card and share the code with them, the money’s gone for good.

If you’re not shopping at the iTunes store, you shouldn’t be paying with an iTunes gift card. Other payment methods scammers might ask for include Amazon gift cards, PayPal, reloadable cards like MoneyPak, Reloadit, or Vanilla, or by wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram. Government offices won’t require you to use these payment methods.

If you get targeted by a scam like this, report it to the FTC at

Want to know more about avoiding scams? Read 10 Ways to Avoid Fraud

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


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I just got burnt by advance America got me for 241.00 then wanted more for other fees. Told them no all of the sudden I didn't qualify!

I AM SO GLAD that I did my research first and saw your reply!! RIGHT NOW someone from Advance Cash America is trying to get me to pay $481 and telling me I will be taken to court and the papers have already been filed. Said the debt was from 2013. I almost fell for it until they said to buy an iTune card. OMG! This is AWFUL that people do this!

Please report this to the FTC at Give as many details as you can about the call. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

the fbi and local police are leaving it up to the irs to do their own investigation.

Just got hit by one today. Same story. U have to pay $678 or we will file a warrent for arrest. I was going to make it in 3 payments but got skeptical when it said buy an iTunes card. So I started looking on the internet to see if there were scams like this. Glad I found this blog.

I'm glad you avoided the scam. Please report what happened at The details you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

The comments you post here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

I tried reporting my complaint but couldn't pass the amount I've spent.

Hello, do not understand what u mean by "couldn't pass the amount u've spent"

Anyhow, i too was a recent victom and did not think QUICK ENOUGH to search online for iTune/gov grant scams❗My mistake cost me $250 upon providing "Nick Sharma of Federal Reserve Bank Accounting Mgr" with the cards' serial code revealed upon sratching off the silver❗

How do u get your money back

You don’t

Same thing happened to me today!
I feel so stupid but when threatened I let fear take over and purchased $300 in ITunes cards. I reported it. Out $300 but lesson learned unfortunately too late.

I was asked to get a 50 dollar one for an antivirus. I didn't fall for it, they aren't used for antivirus.

Right now on Google plus, there's a person of interest who says he's in the military in Libya at a camp fighting for freedom. He also says he has millions in the bank, big houses and fancy cars in Kentucky. He says he needs the iTunes card with at first $25.00,$50.00 and then $100.00 so he can file paperwork known as supposed leave of absence to come be with me. Then the scam goes further to where he wants to meet me and talk about opening up a car dealership, buying a house, buying a fancy car and what vacation to take. For someone who says they have millions how can they need my little income? I researched this iTune subject and haven't sent anything but what bothers me most are the words they say,"trust me."

So similar to me, he is supposedly in Qatar with us marines and needs itune cards for music and books because he is bored. They get quite angry about it but don’t give up easily

Oh my gosh this is exactly what happened to me!!

I have an employee who is going through this. He has made payments to them. The problem is , they are calling my work number (where he works). They call 1,000 times until he makes arrangements with them. The FTC can't do anything (we filed a complaint). They stated it was a "third party". I can't have my company numbers being tied up and employees being harassed.

You can also report problems with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Under federal law, a debt collector can't harass the debtor or the third parties it contacts by making repeated phone calls. This article about debt collection lists more practices that are off limits for a debt collector. 

This is 100% happening everywhere!! Today I got in a call with a guy claiming to be from the IRS. He demanded payment ASAP for alleged back taxes from 2012 which I had but thought I had paid in full. They were totally insane pushy, telling me if we get disconnected in the phone he'd call the cops. Well I hung up. Ten mins later I get a call from the local PD. Freaked me out enough to call back and say listen. Why do I pay with iTunes cards?? Said it was the fed govt way of collecting payment. Then was put in with another "officer" he was even worse saying I'll be arrested in front of my kids ( this whole thing went down on my truck Bluetooth) finally had enough and next call to me was from a penitentiary in Columbus Ohio. Both times the scammers used real numbers from real PD's. Be careful. Btw.... They all sounded foreign yet used names like John Adams... Mike Black.... Be careful...

I got woken up from a call stating almost the exact same thing. Said if I hang up I would be arrested the next day. They told me to go down to Busy Best or somewhere that I could by an Itunes card. I fell for it. I was half asleep, he even said the Department of Homeland Security was on the line but I could not talk to them. Like you I had back taxes and thought I had paid them but was not sure. They first asked for 1250 or again I would be arrested the next day. I have a bad heart and started a bout of tachycardia about 140+ beats per minutes. And like an idiot I fell for it. But said I only had 250 dollars to my name and they said that was ok they will not forward to local police for an arrest warrent. I feel so dumb. I should know better. I do security audits for a living, has my CISA and 1 year shy of my Doctorate. But I am semi-retired and in my 50's . I used to worry when my Dad was alive of him falling for these kind of things. Oh at first they asked me 3 things, have I ever had a traffic ticket, have I ever filed bankruptcy and something else. Well yes I have, but everyone can get at that info. I run background checks on my daughter's boyfriends there is so much info flying around out there in the net. No more facebook for me, only used it for picks but your birthday is out there, if you ever turn on location it will imprint that on the picture so you can take a picture of your burger and you friends can see what you ate and where ate it at. I just got off the phone with the local PD and I personally know the Chief and he said no way is that not a scam. Plus having a wife pass recently I had no one to discuss this with either. And yes they were all foreign but had names like Bob and Mark, and when I said I want it escalated I got someone else and I think it was the same person.

Be careful - oh I also asked them how do they know they have the right person. There were 3 with the same name as me in this house at one time, as I am a JR and so Is my son and we all lived together until my Dad passed at one time. I would like to change my number but hate to because it was the business line they called and I don't want to miss out on a client.

And why did it not set off a bell in my mind when he said it must be a ITunes card.

Okay - I vented and told my story not I have to try and relax.

It just happened to me his id # was 694291350 .said he was from microsoft.told me to stay on hold and gopurchase I tune cards in the amount of $100.00 3 of them and dontdon't tell them what they are for.

IRS will NEVER ever call you first! They only call after having sent out at least two written notices via US post office and then only if you have ignored those notices. If they threaten you with things like they will call the cops on you tell them do it. Or tell them hey I will meet you at the pf in 10 minutes as they are only a block from me. I am turning myself in

I just scammed myself with $500 bu USfcash advance.. I feel so bad and dumb,. This person got me good with the itune card now I don't how to get my money back I almost paid another $150 but something told me not to pay and research and this is where I am now in short$500

H I was told that I was to receive a government grant for $9600. They said that I owed Missouri tax $500 before they could release my funds. When I pay the $500 they asked me for additional $200 to activate transaction. I was out for $800. Mark Williams was the scammer. The calls show up from NY 646-680-0872 ext 117.

This same exact named person just scammed my friend out of $650 using the same exact story!!! We just filed reports with local enforcement and the federal trade commission yesterday. Then I took my friend to lunch and they call her back threatening to send federal officers if she didn't pay the remainder of $300 dollars within 48 hours...ruthless!!


That just happened to me today an I barked that mans ear off I payed $230.00 I'm glad I stopped after that an research up on the scams after the store manager told that there scams going on.

You could help law enforcement by reporting what happened. Go to and tell us what happened.

You can choose how much information to give about yourself, and you can give details about the scammer who called you & what he said. That information helps law enforcement do investigations.

I buy from this game and I didn't receive any things

same here except $9200 for itune card of 200 to give to fedx

I had a similar experience and I fell for it. I am now 4000.00 in debt for buying I tunes for Lending Club

That just happened to me Wednesday, the scammers are using lending club company to scam everyone, if you apply online at lending club and get a call from 210-401-1437 do not answer its a scammer, FBI is working on this case.

Well reading these makes me feel somewhat better I was trying to get a loan to get out of debt and get another vehicle mine is falling apart I heard from US Bank or so I thought

he said they would put a verification amount in my account when it showed up send it back then my loan would be deposited I tried but only way to do it was 8 I tune cards at 100 each and 1 at 50

the guys name I'm not sure of but think it was Zach Martin also a foreigner when my bank checked it out the verification amount was from a closed bank account check so it made me over drawn and I'm on disability the bank took all my check except for 33$ I am so depressed it's Christmas time and I lost almost a 1000 by trying to get out of debt and on my feet this buried me

You can help law enforcement by reporting this to the FTC at You can provide details about the person who contacted you, and the information will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. Thank you.

So is lending club a scam

Yes Lending Club is a scam. They got me. They kept telling me to pay fees inorder to get a loan. They kept calling me and hassling me, so I changed my phone number.

Is cash net a scam also. They said same thing. 125.00 itune card for loan applicatiom. Loan is fot 5000.00

Hi just got a call from Lending Club as well.sent me $300 wants me to send $200 in iTunes card. Then will recieve $8000. Im assuming a scam right?

If you’re not shopping at the iTunes store, you shouldn’t be paying with an iTunes gift card.

If you're offered a loan, but you have to send money first, chances are you will lose the money you sent and won't get a loan.

I got called by a company who sent me $680 as a verification fee. Next day told me to send it back by buying iTunes gift cards to the tune of $650. I did so, and same day they said "your credit is not high enough" and sent me another $920 to raise my credit score. Said after getting that money back, buying $900 worth of iTunes gift cards (from the money they sent to me), then I would get my loan. Is this a scam? I'm not exactly using my own money--its money they sent me.

This is the same thing they did to me and said my money would be available at midnight so I'm hoping it isn't a scam.. It was their own Money they used even if it was! I will update soon as I know for sure!

Hi chances are yes its a scam if they are sending you money and want you to purchase itunes gift cards to send the money back to them and they send more just for more gift cards just to get a loan. Just check into it before you proceed any further with it because you don't want to be held responsible for any bad checks (if they're sending by check). Hope that helps.

I just went through the same thing this morning with Lending Club. The Financial accountant name is Jeff Thompson at (772)777-1176. On yesterday $983.79 was sent to me. My bank put a hold on that deposit til June 19, 2017. This morning Jeff wanted me to go to Walmart and load $900 on 18 Itune gift card. The customer service cashier told me right off that it was a scam. I handed her the gift cards back and I walked out the store. I had Jeff from Lending Club on the phone and told him what the walmart customer service cashier said. Jeff wanted me to send the money back as money gram or western union. I informed him that the deposit was placed on hold. Then he said he would call me later after I got off work. Right now I haven't lost any money or spent any money because it's their money. But I did change my bank passwords.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Please report it at so it becomes part of the FTC database that's used by investigators nationwide. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We can't address complaints that you discuss in the blog comments.

did they deposit money in your account and tell you to use it to buy.

I'm not sure if it's a scam but I just got conned into doing this but they sent me 200 and I had to buy 100 card and then my loan would be processed for 5000. I'm still waiting on the call back!

If someone you don't know offers to send you money, or wants you to send them money, it's a sign of a scam.

Sometimes, when scammers want to move stolen money, they get other people involved. They pretend to hire them, and tell them to open bank accounts and deposit and send money. Or, they start an online "romance" and ask their sweetheart to open a bank account to send money as a favor.

If you give your bank account number and personal information to a scammer, there's a risk of identity theft. The FTC has tips about what to do if information is lost or stolen.

It's a scam!! They will findo a way to get all the funds and your account will be negative. I know, because it happened to me. Report it to your bank immediately!!

so what did u do?

How am i borrow money and will pay back in about 5 hours


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