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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


This guy on facebook messenger, messaged me couple months back. Started talking became friends. Couple weeks later he started asking me for itune gift cards and he could sell it and get the cash to buy food and medicine. I honestly dont know if he was trying to scam me or not. To this day he still asks for itunes gift cards to sell for cash. He claims to be located in California.

My brother in law is an older gentleman, and he's been scammed several times. THREE times by letting people remote into his computer and at least once with the iTunes gift card scam. Needless to say, he now needs one of his brother's signatures to access or spend any of his own money. So sad, and humiliating for him

I realize that once the money is send it's gone, once the iTunes card pin is given to them, that money is gone too and there is no getting it back.

I have a question though. In my brother in law's latest case, he was turned away at several stores when he was trying to purchase his iTunes cards, and eventually one of the cashiers (local store and they knew him) called the police who he spoke with, and a few days later someone from the FBI actually came around asking for more details. Lots of details about the contacts and requests, but they never asked for or took the App Store & iTunes cards.

I have read the entire Apple Privacy Policy and it's very clear there, and also states in an on-screen notification when you create an AppleID that every time a user logs into iTunes or any Apple services they automatically collect and log quite a bit of information such as IP addresses, browser type and language, Internet service provider (ISP), referring and exit websites and applications, operating system, and a date\time stamp. If a purchase is made (at least with an App Store & iTunes card, which is not valid in Apple stores) they also collect and store your device name and unique ID, IP address, location information and credit\gift card information. So they can pretty easily track the purchases back to an account that may be closed, but I bet they kept their computer, which can be found and tracked in other ways.

I realize that the person using these "stolen cards" may not be the same person who stole\scammed them, and if it is, surely they're using a one-off email account and bogus personal info, BUT there's a lot of information collected that can't be doctored or faked and it seems to me between Apple and the FBI they should be able to crack down on this a lot more.

Go after the people using the scammed cards, just like anyone else who's received stolen property, take it back! Bill or charge them for the purchase or take it away. If I purchase a TV that was stolen, and the police track it to my living room, it's not going to be in my living room for very long. Whether I knew it was stolen in the first place or not. And I'd bet a lot of the time, if they're faced with returning or paying for the value of the card.. it'll jog their memory on where they acquired it.

Has anyone heard anything about them trying this approach? Apple has to be taking a major hit on the sales of these gift cards, so it seems like even though they're getting paid, it would still be to their advantage to pro-actively investigate this by starting with the card purchase and following it backwards with the help of law enforcement, to the scammer. Especially since it's extremely unlikely that any of these cards ever generates breakage, which is where they REALLY make their money on them.

Anyone heard of any cases of them trying this?

08/03/18 Scammed by fake Apple Security using confirmation number from closed repair order. I let them in and they showed me “records” of foreign Russian downloads of my info. They got my AmEx card number. One the phone for 1.5 hours.
I started getting alerts from AmEx as they started purchasing gift cards at Game Stop and Walmart. Then they wanted me to go get $500 in iTunes cards in $100s.
At that point I knew it was a scam and got Apple support on the phone and put an end to this and cleaned up all security items.
Bold scammers impersonating Apple Security complete with Indian accent.
Has this happened to anyone else?

A guy called John Isaac message me saying he needs I phone gift card to top up phone claims he's in army and stuck in desert so can't get anywhere claims he's using his commanders phone to message me

How can you nail scammers who don't use a name for their illegal activities?I guess it can't be done right?

Actually you can there is a lot you can to to track non government for example if they send you a message on any social media with a picture you can copy the picture and paste into Google and show the original account that has it or where it comes

I haven't fallen for it but I have a Thomas Kiss messaging me for the last 2 weeks. Very charming and personable. Just recently he has asked for an itunes card to keep his internet going as he is on an oil platform and the weather knocked out the rig network. First asked for $200 but when I would not give it to him, he asked for $25. I said I dont have it, he said okay, is still messaging me, but I am expecting another request.

Master Prophet called because he wants to pray for me and send his appointed oil.

Has anyone heard of Hilton Glenn?

The will not let you send an email. States is us not a deliverable address when you send an email.

This iTunes scam is on zoosk dating site- they chat on email- then send a sexy picture- I had one actually hold up a paper with the date on it- They are trying to cash a - fifteen million dollas - hence the word dollas was written on check picture- lol - first it was a wal Mart gift card- but now it’s itunes it’s money needed for busslness account they need to open in order to cash their check. Trust nobody you never seen- or have no address for—- don’t give people money!,,

answered add for helper. Guy said he needed someone to get him items, here in the USA and send or picture them to him, outside the country. 1st., iTunes, go but 17- $100 cards, scratch them, take picture, and send to his email address, and he pays me $300. He sent $2000 to my credit card. IF he wanted these cards so bad, he could buy online, would not have to pay me 300 and all would be good. Anyway, I did not do it, talked to police and security and they said DON'T.

I was told by a SPRINT STORE EMPLOYEE today inside the store, that in order to fix my password violation on my old phone (so I could transfer pics, contacts to my new phone) that I would need to purchase a 100. I-tunes gift card from Walmart and then call the 800 number to the Apple store she gave me. That I would be reimbursed the $100. When I called the 800 number and gave them the number off the back of the card, I was transferred to a “lady”, who said her name was Dalina, with Apple, Inc. She said my phone had been hacked and pics of my grandkids had been sent to porn sites. All this time, I’m believing I’m speaking with a legitimate Apple rep. She told me in order to retrieve these pics from these porn sites, it would be necessary for me to purchase two 500. dollar Google gift cards, that would be reimbursed to me. The most stupid thing I’ve ever done, in my panic to protect my grandkids, I fell for this horrible scam and I am out $1100. It all started by following instructions given to me by a SPRINT STORE EMPLOYEE when I went there seeking assistance with setting up my new I-phone 8!

You could report this to the FTC at, the store manager or corporate management.

I can't believe I fell for this lady who pretends her name is Angela Millican.. I never realized it was all scam till I came across this blog. She formerly made me send her $5700 now she is asking for iTunes gift of $750 to update her files because she is in peacekeeping in Sudan. Please how do I get this lady to pay me back. Love really have cost me a lot. I hope some day my true love will come my way.

Has anyone ever heard of Anthony Keys Johnson he keeps telling me that he needs iTune card so he can update an app on his phone

I was asked on words with friends to chat with this person said he was in military in Afghanistan and would be retiring on Aug 31,18. Claimed to be in love with me and then asked for iTunes card I did give him $150. In cards but now is asking for more for his birthday demanding I send him them if I loved him but I am not sending him anything. He used the name of Terry Donald but also said his name was Murphy. But I would like for him to be stopped

I got scammed too by being asked to buy iTunes cards for $100.The guy who asked me to buy iTunes card was from a dating website. He expressed his love to me then, he sent checks to me, asking me deposit them in my accounts. Then he wanted me to sent him back some of that money. But I was wise and I didn't deposit the check. And the bank also recommended me not to deposit a check from person whom you don't know. By the way, he sent me flowers to make me believe his love. Then he sent me checks, then he asked me for money back, and finally, he wanted me to buy iTunes card for him. Thanks God I got scammed only for $100 not more. His name is Todd Israel. Just be careful with that name.

I have been trying to get a personal loan and I got a call from someone the put some money into my account and had buy Walmart gift cards to give the money back saying that they had to make sure the money was going into the correct account. Then before they put my money into my account the account would lock up and I wouldn't get the loan. Even though I wasn't using my money for this was this some kind of scam?

I got a call they ask me to buy two apple itunes card then i will recieve 9200 is this a scam i have not bought the cards yet????? I need answers tho????

That sounds like a scam. If you get a surprise call and someone says they'll give you money, but you have to buy something first, that's a scam.

The scam works like this: the scammer tells you to buy an iTunes cards and send him a picture of the numbers on the back of the iTunes card, or tell him the numbers. After you tell him the numbers, he takes control of the cards, and disappears. You lose the money you spent on the iTunes cards, and you don't get the money he promised to give you.

An person saying he's the actor from X-Files has befriended me on Instagram David Duchovy. Struck up conversations of a personal nature and in the end requested I go get an itunes card. Said it was required by his manager for us to keep in contact with one another. I didn't buy it but his request left me puzzled as what he was trying to do. He requested $100 stating it was for security reasons. I told him to buy his own he's wealthy.

Sorry to read the stories above above! "My" guy (scammer) is stationed in Iraq with the FBI working on terrosism for the UN. I just got asked tonight for the iTunes values at $100. I figured something was off in the first few days but chose to ride it out. Going by the name of Landry Williams. He is good though.. came off the dating website OK Cupid, had some common lifestyle, goals, locations, etc.

While the conversation is active who should I report him to?

I am in this situation. How do I get out of it. I have already sent some an they are demanding 10 more. They put money on my card to get them. How do I get out of this without jail?

This guy i met actually paid me 600 to get him 6 cards. What do I do?! I don't want this money

You don't need to purchase the cards. He might have given you a bad check. It could take weeks for the bank to find out the check is bad. If you give him your own cash, or your own personal check, you will lose money if the bank finds out the check is bad. If he calls you back, tell him he can call his own bank and cancel the check.

Any male having a woman ask for an I tunes card so they can video chat with you?

The best way to spot a scammer is to ask them if they can sent you a picture of themselves holding a sign that has your username. And If they can't sent you a picture of themselves holding a sign that says your username chances are they're scammers and they're looking to take you for a fool

got scamed with the grandparent ploy for eight thousand using I tune cards.

Got hit twice..bought $850 worth of I Tune cards, Glad I did not send them, Second was a check from a credit union in Minnesota...sent it back. Don't know if WalMart will take them back. Any one interested in them.

Theres another scam from Oec i believe giving away grants of $50,000 to $100, 000. Adminstrator is Nancy peterson..407 area 603 on text. Was told i needed to but itunes card to ger pin number to make the delivery to my door in Cash. When i asked them to be more soecific. As i was to hide number ftom friends etc yet was told to take picture if card..send to? And then keep card until i receives my grant. Only aales for $100 card but i said if its onky for a oin id then u could buy a $25 card? .it took me forever for them to explain his they were using pin. When i learned id send them a picture? How dumb. Unfortunately someone had hacked a friends FB and she fell for the scam. They even oretended ti be my friend. I asked them some questions i knew only my friend woukd know and thet declned to answer and went away. They returned via atext somehow. Same old crap. BEWARE if even from a friend.

Is a itunecard used to text or call on a phone

I had several people o Facebook that had sent friend request, so I accepted them. Well this one "girl" was texting me through messenger and we talked for a couple of days, then all of a sudden she told me that she was about to run out of airtime and wanted to know if I could send "her"a $50 Itunes card and dummy me went got one and sent the code on it. Well we continued talking to each other then a couple of days later she told me that someone took her phone and she was using a computer to talk to me but she wanted me to send "her" a $100 ITunes card so she could put it with some money that "her uncle" gave "her"so once again I fell for it and did. Now this is the strange part, when "she" asked me I told "her"that I would have to think about overnight, and "she" said ok and we kept talking. The next day "she"was on and I told "her" a lie just to see if "she" was scamming me, I told "her" that my mom needed some money and she told me ok 2 give my mom whatever she needed, and I thought for sure I would never hear from the "girl" again but 2 my surprise "she" texted me later and we talked some more. Well I though that maybe "she" was real so I bought the Itunes cars and sent it to her for the phone by the way "she" said "she" could turn the cards into cash, needless to say I haven't heard from " her" yet. I should have know something was up because of "her" grammar was not English. She sent a couple of pics and I have a program on my phone that allows my to check out pics and when I did the pic came back from another person and I confronted "her" and told me that was here just a different name on Google, now I feel so stupid, and now I won't trust anybody on Facebook unless I know them personally. I hope my story can help somebody out there from going through this mess.

Hi you made the right decision. It’s pretty sad this world has sick people. I have Been in the same situation with a military guy years ago I’ll never forget his name Phillip Anderson. . He took me for a ride. I learned my lesson the hard way. It. Is best to talk with someone you know at your own home town. If that lady is not who you think she may be, well you can either leave or change her bad ways into good ways. At lease you know your money isn’t taken. Some day it will all pass you feel so violated. I’d rather stay single with my kids than to make other people rich. Watch out with that game WWF words with friends. Lots of male scamming surely there are female ones as well. Good luck in love , be safe and yes of course God Bless you.

I have been talking to a guy who says his name is Robert Wert at one time he said it was Robert Green is supposed to be in South Africa working. I sent him a ITunes card once & told my family & they explained it to me. He tried again all the way to today. When he found out he was not going to get another card. He blocked me on the phone. So sent him a text message letting him know he was the one that got played. I’m still laughing

Country singers are asking me to buy them I tunes

Tim McGraw Clint black Garth Brooks ask me to get iTunes for them because they don't have time to get their own is this a scam

This guy I been talking to he says he is a 4 star general he wants me to send him a 250 dollars I tune card .

I had this happen when I called Paypal. Said there was suspicious activity on my acct. (which they apparently blocked) at the call center. It is someone with a heavy accent. I talked four different people. They said I needed to purchase two different large amounts on iTunes card and Google card. I could hear conversation in the background with then talking to other customers. I did it and when they couldn’t get my password corrected they said I would need to purchase one more large amt . When I refused he said he would call me the next day to try again to correct. I kept questioning him but he assured me the money would be back in my acct before midnight. I checked the numbers on the back of the cards and he had already used them. I am still so angry. The number I called on PayPal that evening went straight to a went straight to someone supposed to help me. So watch out if you call for help at PayPal...I have never had to contact them before so how am I suppose to know it was not legit....

Scammers are emailing people pretending to be PayPal saying that their account has strange activity. When you call the number you are calling the scammer, not PayPal. They even have their website identical to PayPal, the only difference is they do not have the "secure" icon and URL. On the fake PayPal scamming website, they have where you login and put your email and password, when you do they will receive it and use your credentials on the real PayPal website.

attention Bridget Small FTC If a person asks you for credit card information so they can receive money from US Texas Post Office directly into your credit card and ask for name, address,last 4 of soc sec number, mother's maiden name,date of birth, credit card #'s with cvv and copy of photo id, is this a scam?

If you tell someone all those personal and financial details, they can make charges on your credit card, or they can steal your identity. They use your information to get new credit cards and run up charges in your name.

If someone asked for all that information so they could send you money, it sounds like a scam. Go to to find out what to do if your information was used for identity theft.

is anyone else out there being scammed by a young lady named Emily morne

Yes I was scammed by a hot 36 year old. He's actually Italian.
Dead father. No contact with mother or sister. Said he lived in Canada and owned his own company. Was working in Benin and the Benin government would not let him leave until he paid a few thousands worth of dollars. He's now in Mexico still asking for money. Said he needed an iTunes card to buy food. LOL That's a good one. Watch out for Benito Matteo (if that's his real name). He a very resourceful guy. Will play upon your vulnerabilities to get you hooked. Don't believe him. He truly is a liar and a fraud.

Same thing is happening to me right now. Says she is in the Navy in Africa and needs iTune cards for important information that she doesn't want any third party to know about. First asked for a $50 card for a presentation that she claimed she had to give to other soldiers to prepare them, now says she needs $100 worth every two weeks and doesn't know what to do because if she doesn't get it she will be punished by her commandant. She sends pictures and it shows her in military uniform so can't figure out if she scamming or telling the truth. But also says she is divorcee with a three-year-old daughter. And started talking about being together in marriage when she gets home supposedly in 5 months. Met this one on a dating app that I have never tried before and she instantly wants to use Kik app to chat and know each other better. I have looked up her name that she has given me and they're also are no files of anyone with that name! I have never had this happen before and immediately thought something was wrong with this whole situation so had to look it up and now I am definitely glad that I did!

The guy is that trying to get me to send, Steven franklyn!

A guy on Instagram has been asking for me to purchase iTunes cards for his kids to play games. I didn't do it. I didn't know how they used them, but now I do. Thanks for the article.

Wow! I didn't realize that so many people were going through the same thing, that I am. I have been contacted by many men claiming to be on "Peacekeeping missions" and celebrities and widowers. I haven't sent an iTunes codes or money to them but, I got scammed by a company called ERC. It really exists but, they don't give grants to individuals. I'm out $600, because I fell for that one. They said I was approved for $140,000. I hate that they got me but, it trained me, to not fall again. Every time I am contacted by a scammer, I turn them in, as fast as I can. I block them, then report it. But, it's still happening every day. I can't even enjoy social media any more. Please don't fall for anything, unless they're honest and say they just want to listen to some music or watch a movie. Now, I can handle that. If I've been friends with them, for awhile, I might send a $25 iTunes card. But, I won't make it a habit. I'd like to believe that a man, who says he's in the service, really is. I come from a military family. But, honestly, I think it's a better idea, to just refuse any new friends. You don't ever know who you're really chatting with. I've be contacted by at least 7 Keith Urbans. Lol! Be careful, and never give out any personal information. PS. I was on this page because someone is trying to scam me right now. Thanks for all the advise.

Yes, I was scammed for $100.00 for an iTunes card, so I did the research on Scams for 2018. WOW! What an abundant amount of information on all types of scams going on. Hey everyone! We have to REMEMBER the INTERNET is just like Disney Land. We normally use the Internet for educational purposes etc. There are people who don't have a life. They pray on others, who are caught up in their own life and caught off guard falling for scams.
EVERYONE WANTS a quick fix, whether it is in finance, love and romance etc. Say to yourself this is the REAL world, not the fantasy world. Do your RESEARCH BEFORE advancing to the next step, for example-buying an iTunes card. Think and ask yourself questions. Be aware of RED FLAGS!!! Who in their right mind is going to give you their real name and other information on the internet. These scam artists are hiding behind a computer screen. My scam involved a guy who used someone else's picture, who was linked to Facebook, which I will NEVER have a Facebook account. In my opinion, Facebook is a Soap Box. These people ask you for simple information as in: location, job, marital status, hobbies/interests, etc. They are gaining your trust. They take your pictures and information you send them etc., and use them posing as you in another scam. These people should be held accountable for their actions. This guy said he needed an iTunes card to download forms he needed for his computer. This happened in KIK Messenger. One day on my KIK account a 33 year old white caucasian male asked to start a New Chat. I hit the Chat button. Red Flag #1 his 1st, 2nd or 3rd day on KIK. Conversation went on and I in return asked, How do you know me? He was looking for a nurse friend of his and came across my name. Yeah right? I told him I was married and older than him, which that didnt bother him at all. I said I am happily married. He changed the subject. His name he gave was John Lucas went to UCLA in Los Angeles. Originally from Egypt. Just so happens that Facebook account of John Lucas 33 from New Egypt, New Jersey and is a Construction Engineer. RED FLAG #2 as the conversation goes on a few English grammar words are out of order. RED FLAG #3 was an iTunes card for $400.00. RED FLAG #4 on the 6th day of conversation I get another New Chat on KIK Messenger, this time a handsome clean cut guy 19 years old and only 2 days on KIK. The conversation between these two guys were very similar just a different location, job etc. I'm used to hitting the BLOCK button lol. I know exactly what they are up to, but this is a serious matter and something needs to be done. Sometimes I think the IRS, FBI etc., think these are petty issues going on. For example, It's just like you have a situation at work and you go the chain of command route and your Supervisor responds with, "I understand what you're saying", "I hear you", "What can I do as the employee to make things better?" And you think OMG, really? These people in a Supervisory, Manager and Administration positions secluded themselves in their offices. This is soooooo unreal, but this is reality in today's world. At least you have LIVE people in front of you and not BEHIND a computer screen being anyone they want you to believe they are stealing other peoples pictures and information they get from you.

Hello all,
could someone please explain where do you buy these gift cards that scammers request. Do you buy them in official Itunes store or some other website??


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