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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 ftc.gov/complaint.

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

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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From oct 2018. I have met a gentleman online n never met him and i am still dating him until now. I have spent over 10, 000 in itune, amazon, n steam cards to send to him. I even sent Money through western union and money gram, which is included n this total. I didnt know anything about online dating nor scammers using these methods. He always says he is going to buy me a house n we r going to get married. I tried putting up his pic but i cant find anything regardi g him through it or his email address. I stopped buying these cards over 1 month ago.

Omg these stories are like mine.anyone know of person Bling Lawson Silva in Cyprus. Met on mingle took me to hangouts chatting for 3 months says he's civil engineer there on work wants to get married come here etc.seems sincere lovable but never talked .Sounds like all other stories sends pics has to chat I'm confused but leary.Sounds wonderful and perfect but I have a feeling.If I could find a guy like this be great lol.just started asking for itune card.Also said born in Germany lived in Maryland is us n German citizen

First of this came through as my boss name which masked the real ID. I got the first email say "Are you available? there is something i need you to do. I am going for a meeting now, so just reply my email asap.", with my boss's name at the top as always but the email underneath was masked. I proceed to due what I thought he wanted me to do, so I went with it like it was him as if he was donating to customers or charity. I then ran to get them at Walmart and from there I had to email the backs of the card to my boss, which I did but the big give away was when they wanted me to send 10 more. Then after talking with with my boss directly, I call ITunes and had all but 2 $50 ones stopped from being spent. I opened a claim on FTC.gov site and had to send pictures to apple of the cards(Front and Back), the Receipts and the Open file at FTC.gov.
Watch out for this type where it comes through as a Boss or someone over you, but for some reason there email was put into my address book under my bosses name. I searched the email and never found that email before 5/3 in all my emails. They are getting in some who and they new to mask my boss's name to scam me.

I was ask to go buy a lot of iTunes card and to send them to a Darren Malcom butler who sent me a message saying that I had won money and told me that my money would be on my doorstep first it was a government funded grant and then the flight crack then the security people wouldn't release the money unless I paid so much money now it is the IRS who are looking for £7000. 500 from me before I get and what I was supposed to have won. I keep telling this Darren Malcom butler that I don't have any money because I am in depth and I even borrowed money to send over to Darren Malcom Butler. I have even told him to send me back all the money that I sent to him and all that he says that I can't have my money back which I sent this Darren Malcom butler over and he and this federal government fund grant people won't send me back to me and now this Darren Malcom Butler is saying that the IRS wants money off me. I have paid nearly £900 to Darren Malcom Butler and is still keep asking me how much can I get to send over. I keep asking him to just send me all the money that I sent to him Darren Malcom butler but all that he keeps saying I won't get my money back even though I told him that I that he is taking money off me under faults pretence and I am ill and disabled and he and the federal government fund and now this IRS who ever they are won't give me my £900 back nor will their so called cashier

Wow, so ridiculous all these stories of con's these people are running with this iTunes thing.
Met a guy on POF immediately asked to switch over to WhatsApp, I'm like okay a phone number is practically useless for anything other than being on the phone. ... so we chat for not even 24 hours and he's already professing his love for me first he's asking all these questions about what I want in a relationship and I'm answering accordingly, told me his dad died in an accident & at a young age, then mom passed away a yr ago & grandma passed away when she got the news his mom died.
he asked me for a video of me singing [okay a 16 second shot; which I learned there is another scam that they are using to gain access to your WhatsApp via voice verification but as soon as I did my WhatsApp I have a 2-step Verification and so if that's what he was trying to do he wouldn't accomplish anything]...
he sent me pictures of him in a full uniform & partial and a video of him singing first, so i returned the gesture . .. he's using the name Alex Black and the last name on the uniform does say Black ... I'm not sure whose pictures and video he is using or where he got them from because no matter how hard I searched I couldn't find them anywhere.
The red flag with me was he asked me to buy him an iTunes card for his data, said his connection was going out...
I video called him & he refused to answer repeatedly then he finally called me but it was on mute and the camera was so close to what was or was not his face (probably a prerecorded video) and then he ended the call.
So I asked him to give me his account information so I could put the iTunes number in there... he said that I couldn't do it online I needed to go to the store purchase it from there and then let him know ...
I gave him multiple chances to correct maybe what he said or typed by mistake but he stuck to the story that the iTunes can be used for data said that he'd be so sad if he couldn't talk to me didn't know what he be able to do .. using the number 2624775690... I told him that I would take my chances elsewhere & blocked him.

I think that I am in big trouble a really good friend of mine offered to help me with some money I gave him my I'm formation and suddenly he was having
trouble making the transfer and asked me to buy him an Sephora card which I knew had nothing to do with what he needed I politely mentioned this to him
and he said it was so he could trade it for a iTunes card to update his phone so that he could go ahead and transfer the money to me well I checked that out to and came across this site and after reading some of the things on here I informed him about this as well and told him that I know that you can't update a phone with an iTunes card but I still think that I may be in big trouble what can I do about this i know if it was really stupid on my part but he's supposed to be a friend

I am being scammed by someone claiming to be serving in Libya in disclosed deployment.Started like so many of the scenarios I've read on here... but sounded so genuine at the time.. 'met' him on a dating site.. he said he was in London where I'm from, only after a day in did he reveal that he was not in London but serving in Libya. he has a daughter and hi s wife died in a car crash. He is phenomenally handsome with the fittest body and dreamy eyes. Very quickly progressed to useing terms of endearmnet and talk of love and I'd never even heard his voicce as we communicated on 'kik'.. he said because of the special nature of his deployment, he was not allowed a camera and could not make phone calls. He asked for me to pay for 'secured communication' and sent a dodgy looking 'military' email...I mailed it from a made up address and the equally dodgy response was badly spelt and punctuated and asked for a transfer of £210 to be paid to an account with western union. I've given no money but he knows a few details like my name and email address. I've since deactivated my fb account. He also asked for an itunes card. The most bizarre thing was that although I knew it was a scam at different parts of our'liason' I hoped beyond hope that he wasn't aware that it was and he was also a victim. His name was 'Ariel Torres'

Anybody ever heard of a company called Davidson ? The guys name is frank Miller Berg... feed back please.

I bought a gift card and sent me a gift card that was used

Because I shipped the iTunes card and I could not buy it and my account is closed because of the mistakes of the secret code and I want to open it

Ok. So im talking to this guy on fb. An said he was gonna sent me money. But then yesterday he asked me to get him a itunes gift card cuz he is in Arizona an that supposedly where he is at there is no more. An he says he works for the army. But im like why would those cards finish right. Anyone i need answers

This scam is also being used in The FBgame } words with friends”. A poor lonely soul stuck on an oil rig (or elsewhere) sweet talks women into getting iTunes gift cards for them!

Please give me card code 10$ ituns

I was contacted through LinkedIn by a man wanting to get to know me. A few messages later, wanted to use Hangouts. Then a few days later asked for an iTunes card which set alarm bells ringing. He claimed to be from StLouis, Missouri. Claimed his wife had died and daughter in boarding school. Linkedin photo disappeared which confirmed my suspicions. Thankfully I didn't lose anything but I am warning others . I have reported it

I have been be-friended by a guy on linked in. His name is
Harris Martins.
He was a charming business man from California.
He was heading to Nigeria for contracts on oil rig.
He made out I was his long lost soul mate. He seemed to be lovely thoughtful and caring American guy. Sent me a few photos thru, I thought he seemed a really nice guy.
A few days into are friendship, he asked if I could get him an iTunes card and send him a photo of it. He was having phone problems and needs to sync this with an iTunes card.
I asked him to transfer money but he said he had no means to do so on oil rig. He would refund the money when he is off oil rig.
I said I do not have a spare £100.
He said it was ok but strangely his attitude is less romantic in his what’s app messages. I tried to call him a few times this evening but he did not answer and said we will talk tomorrow. He really has answers for everything.
I have asked a few questions tonight so I am sure he will be gone in the morning.
I hope I am totally wrong as he seemed a nice guy but I think my gut instinct is right. The photos I was sent were probably not the photos of the man I was talking to.
So someone is using someone’s photos and pretending to be them.
I really can understand how people get drawn into this and end up losing money. So glad I realised something was strange.
Will see in the morning if he still is messaging.
Please be aware if something or somebody seems too good to be true, go with you gut feeling and do not allow yourself to be scammed.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Yep don’t do it we alll have similar stories of this guy I would upload pic but don’t see an option dude is buff with blonde hair and huge biceps making funny face in most poses

I met this guy from Nigeria, he's cute and says he needs a $100 Amazon Card, first he told me $25 than he said a $50. He said that the $25-$50 will not work. And he wants a relationship with me , or build one. Said he will be my king. Took beautiful pictures, and pictures of his daughter and co-workers. He wants to FaceTime me, that's why he needs the card.What should I do?

I believe that I am being a victim of Facebook relationship scam any one know who stole Jessica information on line for profile and marry wight I'm wondering if I'm being scammed by a black market person portraying herself like she is gorgeous and that she is getting tips for marry me I need apple I tunes card I used it for marry wight

It is not just you ladies, this happens to men as well.
I am online at Mingle.com
I am sure most of you women chat with these so-called men with amazing jobs, contractors, military, and other working professionals that need YOUR MONEY...
I met online these supermodels that all share the same thing as you, but the online women all need a new phone as the one they have is broken and unable to video chat, after like 30 seconds of chatting on hangouts they request that I send them iTunes gift cards. Now let's be serious here, how can I or anyone be that gullible to have any sort of feelings with just these black letters on a screen?
TIP: Ladies ANY MAN that needs you to give him money no matter what the reason, is clearly not worth your time. Even if the man is standing right in front of you in-person and asks you to lend, give, borrow, invest, is a RED FLAG, RUN AWAY, move on, delete, forget, do you know how many men there are you can have, you so do not need some sorry ass man that needs your money.
Just as much as I do not or will not send a woman a cent that I have only met online via text message, good chance the woman I am texting has very hairy legs and a deep voice.

You are correct
People use prerecorded video to give the illusion it's them.
Have the person on webcam write your name on paper and show you, have them wave their hand, have them display 3 fingers, heave them make a funny face. Something to prove that you are not looking at a video.
Video Chat does not really mean the person you are looking at is really the person on webcam - unless they are able to pass one or two of your tests.

I been talking to a Guy name Patrick Walters he’s from Indiana. But working in Lagos, Nigeria on a oil rig and after a couples of days he loved me, he has a son in boarding school, in Indiana. And now he dropped his phone and now his phone has a message that’s pops up saying your camera will not work until you add a ITunes card. I told him I will google that and see how you can fix it or I told him to call his provider and they can send him another phone. I was thinking about send the card but I decided to come online and google topics like this.

If they can pull it off of an itunes card then how do they get the money off to steal it

I have been continue to receive the same thing from women through twitter , skype , hangouts and whatsapp some claiming to be enlisted high ranking women in the army on the front line with photos in camouflage and patches that does not match the correct and current battelian's or traveling to africa to help as UN nurses , doctors and other occupations after the forth or sixth message or email and a dozen or more photos they claim is theirs too bad they cannot read the copyright printed at the botton of the photo suddenly hit me with the can you do me a favor I need to pay my phone , internet , shopping or have to get a new phone when asked to do a video call all of a sudden their camera is damaged or they have no camera before they ask me to buy itunes cards or amazon cards then take photos of the card and send it to them so they can reload or spend it on what ever their excuse was. It was nothing new to me since I have recieved over a 2000 scam emails a year in my spam mail box marked with a red stop sign of the same thing or that magic chest sitting in a security department contain millions in syrian gold or diamonds and USD requiring a certain amount of money to get it released to date I have never sent anything to any of them even now I believe I have another wannabe American woman (scammer) on hangouts supposedly living in California with a canadian registered mobile phone number continuously demanding I get a $100 USD itunes card straight away for her phone/internet account. I love America and the American history and culture but these clowns are wrecking the most important thing I so longed for which is one reason I have wanted to travel around the USA for

What I'd like to know is how they turn the cards they get into cash ?
Who and where are they brokering these cards at ? Someone has to know who is brokering these cards and where the cash is coming from .
And where the cash is going , each card has a number on it and with that it should be simple as hell to track the digital footprint of each and every card . Sounds like everyone is all worried about the person who is contacting each other and similarities in people , but let's track the cards and find out #1thieves and do something legal to these criminal . No different if your house had been broken into , but these people are stealing more than our money , there making off with your feeling and who you are as well as your money . What hurts worse the loss of money , or leaving you with that feeling of disappointment loneliness complete emptied and played with your emotions and feelings which hurts more than loosing out on the money . But together money and ones feelings leaves you broken . With that said someone tell me where and how these cards are turned back into cash ? Yes I was taken for enough and now I'm curious to the point why doesnt the feds the us marshals the law enforcement step in and shut it down . If you have read this and it makes sence and helps you . Thankyou . Steve 116912

I am being harassed for an itune card to pay for phone data. I have been communicating with a person for about 3 months now. Wants itunes card or cutting off communication. No way will I do this. Watch out....

I have two guys asking for amazon gift cards because their iphones need an upgrade one gies by the name Dustin Russell works on an oilrid in the middle of the ocean and the other gosi by the name of Adam j Edwards and he says he is in the military they both have pictures

I need to know if this sounds right to anyone. I met this guy online and now his phone is messing up and he's overseas because his company sent him over there to buy some cars (he supposedly) a car salesman here in the states in import/export. Anyway, he lost some important files on his phone and needs iTune cards to get the files and other documents. What?!! Feedback anyone?!!

I got a man that tell me to meet at the airport but to bring $100 in itunes but doesnt meer up but wants me to send the cards info first n then he said after that he will meet up with me in 12 min

an instagram user told me that I have won an iPhone giveaway..then tells me that I should buy an itune gift card and then send them the picture of the front and back..or just send them a screenshot of the email to verify...I was doubting but since I came here I'm sure he is just a scam...right?

This guy is a thief...name is justin_savage008 in Instagram...he says that u won an iPhone giveaway...he then asks for an itune gift card of 50 dollars...he wants the code number and the email itself...........this is a message from her/him after I asked about how I can get my iPhone X giveaway.......,............,........................................."You need to get a $50 iTunes card card in the super store,, for us to verify your winning and make the delivery of your phone. Ensure the card is properly activated in the store you get it. You now send the pictures of both sides of the card to us for verification. You would receive a tracking number for your delivery after doing that and your winning will get to you in less than 24hours"........... .... . .....................................,...................................this sight really helped me...I feel like I should report him before he /she does it to some1 else...plus he keeps on changing the account name ....he Is active in if by the name..'tholuwarfasionhouse"...changes account name to "justin_savage008"

I believe I’m being scammed by 2 different men. 1 says he works for Exxon mobile and lives in New York but went to Japan for work and his bank account somehow won’t work there. He’s asking me to use mine for money to be transferred into it then I send money to him so he can come home and be with me because he’s in love with me. Mind you I’ve never met this man. We’ve only texted. I refuse to do it. The name he is using is David Wilson. The 2nd man states he is stationed in Syria and claims to be ambushed almost daily. He says he lost his phone and wallet with all his cards in one of the ambushes so he’s begging me to get him iTunes gift cards in the amounts no lower than $50 so he can sell them to eat and listen to music and watch tv on his laptop. He proclaims his undying love for me on a daily basis. He goes by the name of Prescott. He’s a very smooth talker but I know I’m being scammed by both. If anyone else is being scammed by either of these men please inform me so I can throw it in their face.

I'm pretty sure that I am being scammed also. His name is Paul Matty. He is from Germany and is a contract engineer in the high seas in norway. He has a 14 year old son named David in boarding school in germany. He says he also needs itunes, amazon, or steam gift cards to upload his phone for data. I have sent him a total of 3 amazon cards. He says he will pay me back when he has his vacation the first week of December. If anyone is familiar with these names please let me know.

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

If you gave someone the code from an iTunes card and you think it was a scam, call Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 right away.

I have been talking to a guy for over a month now and since we’ve been talking he has left for a business trip and has been oversees for 3 weeks and now can’t get home. He needs me to send him $150.00 iTunes gift card to help pay for his plane ticket?!?! His credit card has been compromised and they have sent him a new one to his home in Connecticut where his children are. I’ve asked why someone can’t buy his plane ticket for him with the new card or send him money from that new card and he never really has a response that makes sense to me....

That sounds like a scam. You don't buy plane tickets with an iTunes card. The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.

If you gave someone the code from an iTunes card and you think it was a scam, call Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 right away.

Has anyone talked to a guy named David Meyer/David Boyd on hangouts asking for an Itunea gift card for his phone? May originally reach out to via Instagram.

Someone is asking me to buy a card take a picture, send it to them. He is on twitter, says his phone screen is broken he needs the money to replace it. Does this make sense.

That sounds like a scam.  The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books. You don't use an iTunes card to pay for repairs.

If you buy a card and send him a picture of the card, he can take the value of the card immediately and you lose all your money.

If you gave someone the code from an iTunes card and you think it was a scam, call Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 right away.

Posed as my pastor, asking for iTunes cards for a total of $300. Then, changed to a bishop in Pennsylvania. Got nasty when I didn't respond soon enough. Sure knew that wasn't my pastor. Fortunately, didn't send any money to the hospital for Sharon, who is dying of cancer, at sharonjane140@ or 203-666-5984. They're changing prAy to prEy.

Anyone getting targeted by an alleged Pamella Rossy from Instagram and Whatsapp who claims to be from Euphoria, MS, have previously lived in Brazil, and begs for an iTunes gift card so that she don’t get their phone cut off or shut down?

I was about to buy on an online mobile shop ..I want to buy iPhone 8plus worth 2thousand hongkong dollars then the seller ask me to pay them via iTunes gift card ..and I don't know about it so I made a research and found this .thanks a lot !

Hello,
I though I would warn people's out there about this guy who been talking to me from july. He lives In Nigeria. He been telling me about his life story and I been talking back to him. It seen like he asking me for I tune card every day but I been trying not to send him but he making me feel bad with his words. I started to talk with him off facebook. His name is ndudi Collins so everyone be careful about him. Does anyone know this guy.

Can you help me I'm so angry because I feel like I'm getting doped into a relationship and my online supposedly lover waited for some time starting asking me for money by steam wallet card or Google or apple I tunes card or Amazon card so sell it for money for travel but want to use a car then make up another accuse why they need more money saying I need more because I need to pay a mechanic in Amazon card my card broke or I need gas money now I'm being conned by a woman using the name marry Anderson telling me she is currently in Nigeria supposedly a white girl who talks about her father's inheritance business that she inherited and she has bank of America checking account but says I need to pay for her flight to the back to the states if I do I will have her and the check

I am feeling worried and upset tbh. I have been chatting to a guy from Texas USA who is stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan. He is called Fred Smith a widowed and has a 7 year old girl called Jessica. He celebrated his 38th birthday about 2 weeks ago. He got me via facebook and messenger and he was lovely to talk to and he seemed educated. Then his account is unaccessible and he only contacted me via Hangout...I had never used it before but he was insisting I used the app. He has been less polite and not the same as when on facebook and messenger. He has been nagging me to get him i-Tune card for around 100 -200 dollars so he can keep in contact with me and have wi-fi....I don't know what to do he might be real but how can I tell as when he called me his accent sounded like he was of black origin and not a Texan accent but the sound wasnt great. He is now making me feel guilty saying without the i-Tune card he won't have wi-fi...do the cards provide wi-fi? Also he wants me to purchase the card from a shop and not online so I get a receipt...I really don't know what to think anymore.....

No, iTunes cards do not buy wifi. That person is not telling you the truth.

The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.

I am actually also taking to a guy name micky Johnson and 5 days and is already saying g he loves and wants me as his wife
He asked me to get him a amazon card I could not find it in the store and I asked him again and he then asked me for a iTunes card stupid me bought for him $100 cause his son needed shoes and it was a fast way to get it and send out as he is in Madrid . And his son is in Alabama. And just today he has asked for another card to buy a special meal And was wondering g if I could get him a card

This guy named Kelvin Owens requested to follow me on Instagram and claimed he was Lieutenant Commander in the navy and currently deployed in West Africa. He said he doesn’t have a credit cares or a bank account to buy a connection. And after talking for a little, he requested that I give him a $50 or $100 amazon gift card to get a connection to text, send photos, video chat etc... and he understood I didn’t have the money and so I wanted to video chat with him to see his face. We were using the app called hangouts. But when I tried to video chat and he answered there was no voice or video. I’m
Not sure if he is a scammer or a real navy soldier.

I have a guy that sent me money, he then sends a picture with my name and bank account with it showing the date as well as the money balance being sent, but it then says it needs a gift card of 50 dollars is required for the activation process.

Says I cannot receive payment until a gift card is used to complete the bank transaction from his account to mine

I met someone online 2weeks ago he's working in Afgainastan he says he loves me and now wants a 25.00 iTunes card to buy books I don't know what to do. He video calls me but I can't see him he said he had to ask his commander if it's alright to video chat

I have a gal that found me on Facebook, she is from Argentina, wants to be able to video chat with me, tells me she needs a $150.00 Amazon or iTunes gift card to be able to get a calling plan. Don't know why one would need that. I have not sent it. Help.

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