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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

How can I get my money back from sacmers I got sacmed appearing to be from u.s government department

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

Can’t believe I fell for this. This person claims to be from Manhattan, NewYork and is stationed in Yemen. He is in the navy on s secret mission & claims to have been involved in recent strike on Syria! He said he was divorced with a young 14 year old son and he was an only child whose parents died in a car accident when he was 7. He claimed he was looking for love again. I can’t believe I believed this!!! There were red flags that made me wonder, especially his use of the English language, like he didn’t use the proper words sometimes, but was very good at sweet talking his way out of any questions I would ask or change subject. Recently he asked for me to help him by buying an iTunes card for $400 for his son for things he needs for his studies in London. That was another red flag, so I started doing some research while I stalled. Like an idiot, I fell for this guy, but was careful never to give any personal information. I met him by his friend request on Facebook, which I eventually accepted. He began communicating through messenger, but kept pressing me to give him my regular text message number or my email address. I didn’t do that, but eventually agreed to get google hangouts to communicate with him. That was really important to him! He continually told me not to tell my grown children or anyone about him because his mission was all of this a lie???a scam! I am educated, retired, and should know better, but not very tech savy. What should I do?

Wow your situation just like mine I meet this guy on instagram and told me he station in Yemen so nice and very charming and we never got into talking about gift card until later but he stated he wanna to listen to music on ITunes so I bought a 25 dollar one cuz I know the scam and how do I really know it’s him. I mean 35 not going to hurt me so I did but now makes me wonder after reading everything ..?!?

This may be the same scam , I dont know.. someone on Instagram using the name of a Fitness Model/gym owner just now asked me "I was actually going to ask if you could help with a $450.00 ITunes card, I need to pay for an important editing,photo online,but my card kept saying Not supported!" Ive not answered this person , but she is getting a bit pushy... so could this be a scam ?

Don't believe any social media text from an unknown person

I met a guy on find a millionaire dating site an claims he is a international police officer in Indianapolis. About 3weeks ago he asked me to buy a $25 iTunes gift card so he can use for his phone to get more data to video chat me?? Sound suspect I I jus played along WTH him. He told me wen he's finish his mission in turkey he will video chat me..I told him I want to video chat him several times now before we meet cos I want to know if I actually chatting to the right person or not?. He say that I am an he wants to meet for real...part of me say he sound genuine but other part saying no he's a scam! I don't no wat to think... But I do have his contact details an phone number which he gave me...could he be a scam or not?? It's a hard one...least if he's scamming me I do have his details an can report it. But then again are they his details or not?. Someone help!!

met a guy on whats app named James M said he needed a n itunes divorced has money two cars did not purchase that for him

Can you tell me what name he used what his sons name was? Sounds just like the guy I was talking to.he said he needed an itune card to update his phone.

You can't update your phone with an iTunes card. The only place you can use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.


The FTC has tips on blocking unwanted calls. If you pay a scammer one time, he might call again and try to get more money from you.

I knew who he is ..that his full name is fake and that scammer he has few fake names are robert, fraser , alvin long time ago ..Block his # !!! cuz lots people used their ## are from online callings not real phones,!! ..i never see him ever , block # and emails and etc !!

Please help this Guy has been talking to my Gma for the past 3 years and his name is Davidson Bradley Miller from the Bristol Uk has a little girl
Wife past away in car accident 5 years ago kid lives with her granny was in the army. Please say his info is same as above. I can’t find anything abt that his guy anywhere online please help gma

I think I got scammed by this same guy his name is Gray Davis, I became his friend through Facebook. We started talking through messenger. He told me he is a widow , and has a 10 year old daughter named Chloe. And his wife died in a car accident 5 years ago. He told me he works for the Army. He sent me a picture of him in his uniform. That’s all I know about him.He told me to download the hangouts app which I never used before, and explained to me how to use it, so he asked for my email so he could send me an invite so I do have his email if it is real . He asked me buy to buy him a ITunes gift card for $100.00 so I did. He asked me to scratch the code and take a picture of it along with the receipt and send it to him. I fell for it. It’s to late now . I started doing research and saw all of this. He fulled me. He had a accent I could not understand him.We spoke on Friday July 24,2020

Hi I want to say thank you for letting me know that you cant update your phone using iTunes card. I was a sucker for a military guy. Then I found this new guy what I thought would be my better half. He too saying all that you want to hear and build a relationship with you and then oh by the way I am in Africa and I need a iTunes card to update my phone so I can get to my apps on my phone so I can give this company money. I cant access it with out iTunes and internet. My alarm bells went off amd when I told him no I cant. He just says you my only hope yeah right I dont think so. So thank you for not letting fall for this scam yet again.

Can you please tell me this guy's name. I am in a similar situation

Can u please tell me what this guys name is? I am in a similar situation as I have been talking to someone that I have met on instagram for almost a year now. He claims that he has two children and that he is a widow, and his sister is raising his children while he is stationed at a military camp up in Ohio.

Do know his name my mom is being scammed. He added her on Facebook and is no longer on her page same situation widowed with two adult daughters. He claims he lives in Arizona from Pennsylvania. He also is currently not in the country needs the iTune cards to call her. All we have is a first name of Chis

You can't use an iTunes card to make phone calls. Whoever asked for an iTunes card is not using it to make phone calls. The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.

This guy tells me he needs iTunes card to have enough data to keep in touch with me. I don’t get why he’d want the iTunes card if he can’t actually use it to obtain money. I only give $25 cards, he keeps asking for $50 or more but I haven’t given in! Otherwise he requested $ thru Money Gram and Western Union and Ria. Also had someone deposit a large check into my account and had me cash it in and now it’s come back “account closed” so I owe my bank $4000. Mad at myself for falling for that!

Wow I was just on FB with a guy name David Clark saying that if I send him a 100.00 he will have UPS deliver me a check for 10,000.00 of pell grant money so when I asked him how was I supposed to cash the check with out a bank account knowing it will take at 3-5 business days to clear.

Same thing happened to me. Only her Name is Annie Hernandez. Upon request for an iTunes card I’ve received pictures of her (idk) if it’s really her or not....but I’ve gotten a lot of pictures along with asking for a ITunes card an I picture of her and her kid. I don’t know what to do with the information she has given me or if I can do anything. It’s weird.

I'm talking to a girl by the name of Elizabeth on Plenty of Fish who wants me to buy her an apple card and says that she's going to get airline tickets to come down here to Vegas to be with me she says she loves me it was on the dating website Plenty of Fish I've been talking with her for quite a while she sent me quite a few pictures somehow somehow there was money deposited into my account I don't know what's going on I don't know if it's a scam it hasn't cost me any money yet I looked up where the deposit came from and it came from a payday loan place I don't know what's going on I've tried to get ahold of this payday loan place and can't reach anyone don't know what to do

Same thing happened to me. The "military man" was named Roy Pascetti had a cute pic with him and his dog.

Hi Tfromtx,
I recently talked with a guy on hangout app. Not "military man", was named Eric Frater and also had a cute pic with his dog, a chihuahua one. Could you please share the pic that you had about him? I worry that I got the same guy with you.
Many thanks

Would it be Chrishait Miller? He just asked me for ITunes gift cards and I can’t and won’t do it. Changed my info in Twitter and Instagram to private. His Twitter account is suspended now too.

You guys can you lease share a pic I got a pic top of guy online with a cute dog. But he says he’s a construction engineer and semi pilot can you post pic please I will share mine

I'm in the same boat. Seems sus.... he has a boy and a girl? 7 and 5?

Please tell me his name sounds exactly what is happening to me..

Kendrick Cot, is the name my scammer is going by, sweet talker using stolen identity and pictures.

This sounds like the chap who has been communicating with me for just over a month. Friendship request on fb followed by messages. Then lovely caring emails which I was stupid enough to believe until he asked me to purchase a 200 iPhone card so he could upgrade his phone. I told him I couldn't afford it as only income was pension. So then he asked for 100 iPhone card instead. Alarm bells ringing I emailed him to say I would not use Amazon or eBay as someone had tried to hack in to my account shortly after accepting his friendship request. Needless to say I haven't heard from him since.

Your scammer is exactly like mine. He said he needs iTunes cards to upgrade his phone every week. He sends Romantic love messages every morning and night. He then talks about the future and kids. Then said he can’t wait to marry me after his lawsuit. He can’t call me because hackers would track him and his line can be trace. So we only texted through His Google Voice Number and Hangout Apps, which Google doesn’t want to help. There are so many victims got scam through google. Hangout App is a Dating Scam App for scammers to use. I believed him and sent him substantial amounts through bank wiring, Walmart money transfer. Can FBI track ITunes Cards that already used by Scammers? FBI can do more about this, they have a system to utilize it. They need to start working harder and start putting these guys in JAIL.

I’ve gotten non stop messages on instagram. Original request came on Instagram and eventually led to Kik. Never shared my phone number nor any identifying information. His name is Kendrick Miguel Johnson, but started the conversation as his name just being Johnson. I’ve done google image reverse searches but none of his photos come up. Thinking it’s a scam because he offered to send money for the home I’m building but needed a steam card and ITunes card at $100 each to pay for a credit card that he’d put money on. I did not buy any of course but he touched on the gift cards every few conversations. I have photos of him... he’s advised he’s in construction but also owns a gym in Beverly Hills CA that his father left him. The name of the company is JSC Construction and his photos with his work shirt/attire reflect what he’s telling me.

I'm dealing with the guy says his name is Nick Patrick Scott Malone age 52 single dad with a daughter age 12. He says he's an only child and both his parents are deceased.
He says he's an engineer and he had to go to Germany for work for two weeks and it up going into 3 weeks claiming that he is sending a box of money that was found in a tunnel where they were working, and that he needed my email address to get the notice from the private FedEx.
I received an email which I did not open, that said that there is something there for me a package and that I need to verify my full name and address in order to have it delivered. I contacted FedEx they said they investigated and there was no package for me.
When I confronted supposedly Nick he said that is because it is a private FedEx and they do things differently.
I researched him and checked all data bases including purchasing Intelius which gives you information on people phone numbers Etc. He is nowhere in any database.
He had me buy two separate times, iTune cards at $100 each. Something about, to help set up his phone. I was not aware how to use iTune cards and that it doesn't do that.
after doing all my research I've asked him several times for his driver's license because when I asked him for his address the first time he gave me a bogus one that went to a Chase Bank near my home, and the second one to some place that was a trailer manufacturer home that was full of junk and crap everywhere. I went up to the place and talk to the kid who lived there and asked if Nick was there or his daughter he said nobody's there by this name and then told me what his last name is which I checked in the Intelius database which the kid was telling me the truth.
I immediately went to the sheriff department and filed this information. I'm continuing talking to this person because I want to catch him! I said I need to speak to his daughter who lives here in the states. I sent him a picture of the Junkie property that I was at that he claimed was his address that he gave me, which supposedly he lives in a big house which he still has a mortgage with his daughter.
Last night I asked for his daughter's phone number so I could talk to her, I never got it this morning he said he fell asleep, and he gave me a phone number and said this is his daughter's number to call her now. I put that number into the database Intelius, come to find out that number belongs to a deceased man that died in 1999.
I'm hoping with the iTune cards, that the police department or whoever does investigations will be able to track who cashed or use those serial numbers.

Does anybody know if that's fact can they track somebody by cashing in or using those numbers?

I just got asked by a man supposedly in the U. S. Army, serving in Syria. He wants me to by the orphans candy, buy him a military watch, pack of t-shirts and a ITunes card so he can use it to upgrade his phone. He wants me to buy him a iPhone on a account and will take over the payments when he comes back to the U.S. and meet me at the airport and get married. He's already calling me wifey. I did try to video chat with him on hangouts let night. He could see me and hear me. But I only saw a man talking who he says is him, but I can't hear him. Something is feeling off now. Yeah I fell in love and my heart hurts to be with him. He wanted chat via hangouts. Is it really a scam artist chat app? I don't know what do do know, I'm so upset and crying that he could possibly be another romance scammer. I've already caught 3 already. He says he's rich, has 3 cars, doesn't want my money but, buy me a iTunes card, black and white t-shirts a watch, candy. He says I couldn't here him on Hangouts, because something must be wrong with camera on his end. Is his picture for real? It's the same person who I video chatted with. But no voice was heard. I don't know what do do? Someone help me in the comments please


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