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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

Comments

Someone woman texted me and befriended me and asked me to put 50 on a itunes card for data on her phone. I couldnt help but think how itunes card going to get you data in Turkey. Starting to think its a scam.

I justgot scammed by lending club today

OMG, me too,. I'm from Honolulu, Hawaii and it happened to beginning of September 2016 with 1st one from Swift Loan Online -approved for $5000. Western Union 10% of the loan which was $500 (insurance fee) & refundable money will be in account in about 45 min, 45 min came n went. Called them up 1(800) 636-8026 (terry Cowan, Matthew and a lady with no accent claims to be the District Manager)

Now they are telling me that the check came back and needs to go to the release manager and need to pay $499 (release fee) & refundable- nothing. I cussed them out boy - about $1300 from my checking I took out and now about 2 months behind, applying for payday loans (man they eat you dry)

Then another one with Quick Cash 1(626) 888 4662 (Mark brown or Adam) , mobile direct $989 into my checking and then I needed to withdraw the money ASAP and money gram & I did figuring it wasn't my money, second time, AdAm wants to clear out my -500 (cause they have access I'm the fool ), he sent again & I money grammed again.

Then he told me the $7000 will be deposited into my account but I need to do one more transaction - NO WAY I AINT DOING IT,.,, the money is in here $2000.. OMG it's 400 in the morning he calls told him Walmart don't open till 7:00am for money gram and I started at 6 am. I started snappin told him this n that then he tells me to purchase $1400 in iTunes card, after all scanned, my card gets declined. WTF so I called him back, blah, blah blah, I was on the Internet getting information from my bank I answered his call - BOOM he tells me " I ALREADY HAD MADE A COMPLAINT ON YOU THAT U RUN AWAY WITH MY MONEy.. Blah blah blah I went off !! Go Ahead and call your mama, call the president cause I don't give a f*** how dare you look at my profile on FB. When he told me if I ride a motor cycle ii was like ... Huh

Anyway they never got their $2000 are their iTunes cards cause I already had informed my bank. Sick people. And another one wants me to purchase an apple iTunes electric card, put $250 so he can make sure I have funds . Loan approved for $10000. Give the confirmation my conversation number to verify funds in account t. I told this Guy I think. I going pass

i got scamed by ghedient systems saying i had been hacked and my wife and my bank acct was not secure when all was over they got us for 2350.00.

Can you narate the story better..I am being scam right now..

so did they actually deposit the funds in your account after you paid them with an ITunes card??? Did you at least get to use the money for the purpose you wanted and now you are short that amount in your account?? I need to know because I am caught up in this and want to know what happens

Did u receive your money?

I just bought 2 $100 iTunes gift cards for lending tree. The deposited 998 in my account and said to get these cards called in then the rest of the funds would be deposited?

So I received a call from (832) area: Spring, Texas.. 1(832) 510-7797, but a very suspicious 'Hector Coleman' is supposedly involved with bank by the same name: Capital Bank Financial Corporation... but they are NOT found in Texas! The caller requests #iTunes card as 'verification' ( payment ) for loan processing & they want the PIN! SURPRISE!!!!!

Did you ever get the funds for the loan?

It happened 2 me

Same thing happened to me yesterday.Fell pray as i am new to US . I thot it is genuine call from 911, then IRS and then Local police number. I paid 4000$ .Its all gone. Is there any way,i can get my money back.

You could contact Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 and ask them to disable the codes from the cards, if the codes haven't been used yet. If the codes have been used, you can't get your money back.

Please report what happened to the FTC at FTC.gov/complain 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.

U just got that same one lol

I think I just got scammed today. Bought $150 in ITunes gift card and gave info to Consumer Loans who then transferred me to the bank manager who said he was with Net Bank in Seattle Washington. He proceeded to tell me he needed $600 in ITunes cards however I would get all of the money back. $15,000 plus the $600 and the $150.00. I did not give the $600. Here are the phone numbers. Katherine at ext 120. 360-819-1153 And she is the one who got the $150.00. Then she verified and then transferred me to her bank manager at 206-596-0810. This is such a rip off. I will report.

My scam was under the guise of an e-mail from Fed-Ex re: order or delivery problem included an order number- pop up came on and they got me for $200. They claimed to be Apple technical dept.
They gave me a Gabriel Winston whose Badge number is APL 1106 , my case number and telephone number 855-500-0487ext.760 and they are still answering this phone and scamming more people every second that passes! I know we have the ability to track down this ring of scammers with this telephone number - my god- that is something that our government and it law enforcement can research in minutes!!!! Not to mention tracking the 2 Apple cards they got by tracking the serial numbers on them. Why isn’t anyone doing this instead of looking at me like the idiot I am to have been so stupid- I know better and still fell for it and I expect the system to care about this and I know the information I have and provided is more than enough to get somewhere if the investigated it.

You can help law enforcement by reporting these details at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC uses for investigations.

The information you put here on the blog doesn't go into the secure law enforcement database.

My 92 yr old mother was scammed into buying itune cards. She thought it was her grandson calling from jail needing money to bail out.He told her not to tell anyone. She purchased $2000.00 worth of cards. This low-life called her back and had her give the codes to him. Not till 2 days later did she tell the family. So sad! She now has a code word that we have givin' her so if someone phones and she's not sure who it is she's to ask for the code word....they don't give it she hangs up!

Identical scenario just happened to me on 9/28/16.I have reported to Local Sheriff.I finally got suspicious after the same low-life "attorney" wanted another $2000 for another misdemeanor charge. I am ambarrassed to have fell for this scam after age 81, but it was my "grandson" calling...

Just got similar call, free money from Western Union if I get ITunes card, put $250.00 then take it to Western union with my Grant ID (they gave me). As soon as I asked if I could research and call back he said sure gave me a bogus number and hung up.

Something happened to use but we lost 900.00 to get 7000.00 loan from Cashnetusa, this man claimed to be a loan officer with them very smooth talker, they tried to hit us up for another 100 for moneygram activation fee

wow! this juat happened to me today. I'm so embarrassed I can't believe that people will use the IRS to threaten people into giving them money. Has anyone gotten their money back after reporting it to FTC ? I just want my $1,050 back

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 (you may have to spend some time on hold). Tell them what happened and ask if they can disable the card. Also, go back to the store that sold you the card and talk with their customer service staff. And if you hear from someone who wants you to send an iTunes card, please tell the FTC.

Did you get your money back?

Please be warned I have scamers that contact me all the time 2 have stolen military men's identity,there Nigerian scars and soon ask for I tunes cards,my scamper came clean told me he could no longer do this he felt bad but his family needed food.

What were the military mens names? I'm worried I'm currently being scammed...

Henry Klein and Derek Ramos
Henry was who was trying to scam me and sent same pics always of himself! Wanted I tune cards to so he could continue talking to me! And he wanted nude photos too!

What were the military mens names? I think I'm in the same situation

I have a guy now and his name is Smith Darren Flynn. And he has pics of this guy too, but only 3 so far. I am currently looking into decorating a cave far away from the world wide web!Im still running him ragged to see how long it takes for him to give up. I'm not giving him enough info tho. And he really doesn't want my identity or account - there's nothing in it! Lol

I got burned from phone numbers from people calling from a 00000000 number then told me to call 2028386084 pay 200 to get my $9000 grant then called 3152263352 which was supposedly the federal reserve bank and had to pay another 499 like an idiot to receive my funds by midnight what a crock of crap these people need to be expelled from living on US soil they should go live in a third world country and learn the value of a dollar and that people actually have kids and don't want to be robbed or lied to oh well life goes on but these people need to be stopped. Some guy called me today and wanted another 600 I was like go fly a kite.

That is crazy I just got off the phone with supposed be the federal reserve bank and they want a 250 gift Card to receive 9000 that they say is mine. I called one of the numbers back and it said Georgetown university.this is craxy

They have called me for the same thing but when I call back there number was located at Washington. And I haven't bought any iTunes card yet so what should I do.

Government offices will not tell you to use iTunes gift cards, or other gift cards. If someone says they are from the government, and they tell you to send iTunes cards, it's a scam.

A scammer might pretend to be with the IRS and say you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay back taxes right now. Or say you will get a grant if you send money. But if you put money on a card and share the code with the scammer, that money is gone forever.

If you are not shopping at the iTunes store, you should not pay with an iTunes gift card.

I was scammed out of $3000 I have all the cards I have no idea what To Do Who To Call My Money Is Jus Gne I Was Such An Idiot But I Didn't Kno Any Better Can You Please Help Me

do you still have the card with you

The number 202-455-5679 has been calling me saying I have a federal grant in the amount of $9000. When I returned the call they asked for a $50 i tunes card for a registration fee. I did that then asked for another i tunes card of $200 for state taxes. Then they wanted another $100 for an activation fee for money gram. It's a group a foreign idiots pretending to be the government. Needless to say I never received any of the money and I'm a single mom struggling.

Ha ha that’s right girl life goes on. I was robbed 1475 I have 3 kids I told the scammer God will handle you and I am better than him !

the scam happened to me as I was doing my taxes online; all of a sudden the pages were rolling and acting crazy and then of course someone who acted like they were with turbotax who I was using told me it would cost $250.00 on an iTunes card to fix my computer.

I was stupid I know but if it were not for trying to get my taxes done I may have thought about it more. A lot of pharmacies also have all types of gift cards including iTunes so that is where I went to get it because I go there all the time, they are my pharmacy, I felt they would be trustworthy because I was not going to do this online.

Well, fooled me; people that see me a lot; that take money from me for prescriptions, groceries, etc; people I trusted let me get the card and after it had been paid for told me about the scam and of course they were not allowed to give the money back even though the thief had not been given the codes or anything.

I have called people and told them they should have signs in the stores because they are not Apple Stores but just put a general warning about it happening to all cards and people would stop and think. Another thing is this, I am older, yes and I do not like it; I live on a pension, which comes from the government so probably any other old people that have been taken on this iTunes ride receive social security. I believe if that is true then it is worse then just fraudulent activity of people but of the government.

They could have given me my money but their bosses tell them no, they are not allowed once they ring it up. Well, they could have told me while we were at the register and I could have stopped them; so people in these pharmacies and other little places know and they just do not care who gets robbed of their money. I have not heard from the so called computer tech because I did not get the card online but went to the store instead. I thought I was being smarter that way; well, so much for that but he has not tried to contact me because he probably knows he got busted.

I believe the FBI should get in on this if for no other reason then a lot of money for these cards are coming from Seniors Pensions which is government money a lot; I am quite sure also welfare and that is illegal; stealing from the government. I still have this card and cannot get my money back for anything. I am stuck with a $250 piece of paper that says iTunes. I think there is more than one thief in this mess because all the places involved know. I do not go to iTunes sites; I am almost 70 years old but here I am just to let people know and that I hope that the companies will, on their own put a warning at the kiosk at the stores; or the government should get involved.

The other stores that are ripping off customers who are ill, and old and just want their computers to work right so they can finally get their taxes done do not deserve to lose their money. This could have been avoided up to the time I was at the register before it was rung up and if they had just said, "you know there is a scam going around" or something to that effect I know I would not have paid for that card. Shame on the thief, shame on Apple, and any other company that lets this go, shamed on the pharmacy for not telling me; shame on the head of the pharmacy for making their employees not tell people so that way they fear for their jobs, shame on everyone involved and shame on me for being stupid. tell everyone you know about this stuff; not just the young kids; all of the young people should warn their parents and grandparents too. you would be doing your family members a great service.

I'm sorry this happened to you. You could call Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 to see if they can help you recover your money.  Explain that you know the money is still on the card, becuase you didn't give the codes away. Please report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint, so the details will go into the database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You could also look online for the corporate headquarters of the store that sold you the card and contact someone in the headquarters to ask for a refund. You can also ask your state Attorney General’s office if they can help.

You may want to contact someone in your area about the TV call for action lines, or contact your local Better Business Bureau.

My friend told me she got 40,000 for just giving $500 itunes card and they asked me the same thing said i have 50,000 coming is this a scam cause she said they weren't its a 231-437-1074 number they said they were 100% federal government grant money guarantee

That's a scam. The federal government does not call people up and give out grants.

If someone wants you to pay with iTunes or other gift cards, that's a sign of a scam. If you buy an iTunes card for this "government grant," you will lose money.

T-ball06 - I just got scammed by some one in Washington number 202-899-2221 they got me for 2400.00 I feel apple itunes should have to pay even though we do purchase the cards there should be some way we could get out money back !!! I ad report this to the ttc but I'm surevim screwed no matter whom I put this claim into !!! I'm on socail security I needed a loan to pay some of my taxes but instead paid these scammers my fault for doing this but there should be a protection against this !!!

I agree there should be some protection so am I on SSI income once a Month and I get enough to make it from Month to Month I got scammed for $$1650.00 it hurts us old people I went to the police and he made me feel like I am wasting his time and my time with this he did write the report that is why there are so many off them doing it they know nothing will happen to them it is a shame

I'm sorry about your experience with the police. Please go to FTC.gov/complaint to report what happened. The information you give goes into a database that state and federal law enforcement nationwide use for their investigations.

If you need some extra help with bills, you could go to benefitscheckup.org. You can search for benefit programs in your area that might help pay for medicine, health care, food, utilities and more. You can also get help with tax relief, transportataion, legal issues or finding work.

Yesterday once again I was contacted by a so called US military man saying he needed a $300.00 in I tunes cards I confronted him tellin him I know your a scamer and I was soon blocked.

Omg so this Marine corp guy keeps saying he needs help with some itunes gift cards that he has no access to his accts because hes in a stealth mission in africa where they deal with isis. So i need to know is that something that can be legit ir is it scam i got suspicious. He friended me on ig and added me on google hangouts i was being friendly and was saying how he likes me and all i thought it was odd but i like to give the benefit of the doubt. This person is a scammer isn't he? Can someone help a girl out please.

When someone you don't know suddenly friends you, claims to be a US soldier far away on a dangerous mission and then starts asking for iTunes card, it sounds like a scam. Read some of the other comments here. You'll see comments that sound like your comment. iTunes cards are for music, books and online apps -- if someone can friend you online, why can't he get online and buy an iTunes card?

Todat someone out of the blue was in love with me an is in the army station in Nigeria. His name is Mason from California, everything was fine until he ask me for iTunes to add minutes into his cell. I ask him how much and he say 100, I told him that he just knows me and now he wants money. I knew right away it was a scam

What name does he go by?

Ok seriously people! Who falls for a scam where they tell you to buy and pay with ITunes cards????? What would the government want with iTunes money!! Holy crap people can be stupid these days. I just can't believe it! A piece of advice for EVERYONE out there is if anyone calls from ANY agency and wants money JUST SAY NO ITS A SCAM!!

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