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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


Bridget, ITunes rep was able to freeze the accts the iTunes $went into. Her money is in a frozen acct. why can't ITunes get it back.

If the money/ iTunes value is in someone's account, I think you have to work with Apple Support. Here's one number for Apple Support if you're calling from the US: 1-800-275-2273. You can also contact Apple Support online; you have to answer questions about the problem before you can connect to a person or chat function.

Apple told me to go back to the place i bought the gift cards they said POS and i feel like apple just passing me off they didn't even tell me that there was a scam breakout with itunes gift cards. i didn't realize that there had been until after the call to apple and was on the phone over a hr what a disappointment.

So it seems many people are experiencing this scam with I tunes. When will it be enough people before something is done about it???? I called Apple they pretty much stated they could not do anything and there was no one I could talk to about it other than the guy u get when u first get through. Surely they can trace the account the cards were spent at and stop the payment. It's bull. sure It's my fault I got sucked in but there needs to be more protection and more legal repercussions. I did file complaint with FTC but need more info and confidence on what is being done to stop this and on apples response to this.

Thank you for reporting this to the FTC at The FTC and other law enforcement agencies can use the information you submitted for investigations.

If the scammer pretended to be from the IRS, you can also file a complaint with the Treasury Inspector General, which investigates IRS imposter scams.



All this scams orginates from india only. Moreover from cities like new delhi ahemadabad and mumbai i have personally seen such call centre doing technical support, payday and irs scams.

Bridget Small - FTC you keep asking every victim to report this to the FTC, but you and the FTC failed to advise the victims the Federal Government will not get back their money. When The FTC, IRS & other Federal agencies claim to prosecute or litigate civilly against any one involved in such scam or fraud, not a penny is paid to the victims or the public.The Federal Government is just making more money on already violated citizens.

You have been misinformed. While the FTC, like other law enforcement agencies, may not be able to fully recover victims' losses in all cases, it does return money to the victims.

Search the list of recent FTC cases that resulted in refunds on, and click on a case name. For example, in Direct Benefits Group refunds, the FTC mailed one round of refund checks in 2015. Because money still remains in the fund, the FTC is mailing an additional 23,000 checks totaling nearly $990,000. Or look at Oro Marketing, where the FTC is mailing 6,192 refund checks totaling over $1.3 million to people defrauded by a telemarketing scheme that targeted Spanish-speakers with false promises that they could make money by reselling high-end goods.

In addition to reviewing the list of FTC cases that resulted in refunds, you may also want to subscribe to FTC Press Releases, to learn about the cases and refunds as soon as they are announced.

I have contact whit scammer I bought 5 I tune's cards but I didn't not send the numbers of it ! Now I have the cards and don't know how to get money back . the store won't return the money and aple store dot even sell I tunes cards if anyone know how I can get my money back I will appreciate the info . thank you !!

If someone told you to buy iTunes cards 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.

Do not tell the codes from the back of the cards to anyone except a person you call at Apple.

Tell Apple what happened. Ask them to disable the cards so no one can use them. Ask Apple what to do to get a refund.

You can also go back to the store that sold you the card and talk with their customer service staff. Ask how to get a refund.

If you get more calls from someone who wants you to send an iTunes card, please tell the FTC.

i agree

The same thing happened to me. I find myself pretty smart but I fell for it and lost $6000.I was embarrassed that something like this happened to me. My goal now is if I could stop one person from this than that's what I have to do.

Did you lose the 6,000 because that's how much you spent on the cards. Or do they access your credit card from the 16 digit code and take money out of your account

who are you talking to

They just did that to me put a 1000 dollars in my acct and guess what I kept it because the same guy out of New York got me a year ago so I just scammed the scammer

If someone has your bank account number, they can put money in and take money out.

A scammer might deposit stolen checks into your account, then withdraw the money or ask you to withdraw it and send it to someone. When the bank finds out there were stolen checks in your account, they will ask you about the transactions.

Did they report to the police because you didn't give back their money ? Cause someone in TX just call me today saying I'm qualify loan and they deposit $1980 to my account and ask me to buy iTunes gift cards what should I do ?

Sounds like a scam. Please report what happened at The details you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Recently i received a call from someone claiming to be a grant writer. They gave me a conformation number and stated for me to go to Wallgreen's and buy a i tune card. I stated why an i tune card , they reply was so make sure you are the person and not a robot. Therefore i did nothing because i knew they were scammers because, the phone kept hanging up every time i was asking questions.Here is the number 786-410-3027 his name is Mr Travis.

Thank you for sharing this story. Please report it to the FTC at The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

The messages you put here on the blog don't go into the database.

Then! It time to think about it now!!

What happens if they pay off your credit card from their own bank for example 5,000 then at 0 balance want you to purchase for them the same amount in iTunes gift cards with denomination amounts and scratching off the number. They don't want physical card just amount and number. What then ?

If someone you don't know offers to pay off your credit card account, and wants you to send money (or iTunes cards or iTunes codes) in return, it's probably a scam.

A scammer can say paid your credit card bill, or send you to a fake site that makes it look like he paid your credit card bill, or even pay your credit card bill with a bad check that bounces later. If it turns out that he really didn't pay your credit card bill, but you already sent him money, you've been scammed.

If you buy iTunes cards and tell someone the code from the back, he takes control of the card immediately. He can use it or sell it. Once he takes control, you can't get your money back.

I just got a job offer buying items and ship to address to be provide by the company but they have 2 weeks probation and to start working I need to process at least 8 orders and after that I going to be hired by the company, but what got my attention is that he told me that I need to have the companies credit card to do purchasing but will take 15 days to send it to me, if I can use my credit card they will pay the balance due and will use just what they paid and with that money to go and buy Amazon, Apple and ITunes gift cards, this right now its in working process, what should I do?

This sounds like a job scam. When someone you don't know says you should spend your money, and they'll repay you later, you're taking a big risk. This blog about scammers who use people to transfer money and merchandise tells more.

If you buy iTunes cards and tell someone the code from the back, he takes control of the card immediately. He can use it or sell it. Once he takes control, you can't get your money back.

I was scammed on May 10th 2018, Peter Brown offering me 500 loan, in exchange to pay off my Credit crads and it sound ok..but then after credit cards were paid in full, he asked me to go buy Google play cards in order the complete the loan process, I in-turn re-maxed out my credit cards the money he used to pay them off was returned to the credit card company NSF the cards now are doubled and over my credit limit! his number was 206-414-4756, the Google card play numbers were sent to 206-929-6827!..He kept calling asking for now a Government tax to cover the Loan I said NO..this process is bogus I decline the loan..then he said you will lose all your credit account payment so I did, im feeling ashamed that I allowed some one name Peter Brown who said he was from Capitol One Bank..

You can help law enforcement by reporting this to the FTC at The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. You can tell where you found the ad for the loan, or how the scammer contacted you.

The comments you put here on the blog don’t go into the law enforcement database.

I just got scammed out of $2,650.00. Man on phone kept me on the phone for 3 hours and said he was from IRS, gave me badge#, employee ID# and made everything sound very official. Told me to go to store and purchase iTunes gift cards as a Tax Payment Voucher. Like an idiot I did this and read him off the numbers. I was very upset about this and got on computer to check the iTunes site and contacted Apple customer support. They were very nice and checked the card number for one of the cards and it had already been redeemed. They told me they couldn't even stop the cards even if they hadn't been redeemed. Since customer support is aware of this scam, they should be able to do something about it.

I got a call that I have been chosen for 7500 dollar grant. Was told to call this number 559-342-0502 talk to a grant officer. So I called knowing this has to be a scam but to see how far they will take this. They told me to go get a prepaid Visa card put 250 dollars on it call them back give them the visa information and 250 dollars and my money will be western union to me. And my 250 will be refunded. Lol yeah right. Don't fall for this government grant scam.

I was called and offered a Federal Grant of $9,200 if I would go buy a reloadable iTunes card. I was supposed to put $210 on the card to "increase the limit" b4 I could get the $9,410. Don't fall for this. The # that called me was 206-731-9680, then I was told to call 315-203-3487. The scammers claimed to be from the US DHHS. Lol. I hope no one falls for this.

The # 901 491 5367 called saying I was approved for a 9,000 grant and that the money was waiting @ Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Told me to call 315 675 0323 and the scammer wanted me to purchase a !tunes card and get a $ code from CVS. I was skeptical and started looking online and found all of you on here! I'm so glad I followed my gut. They almost had me.

I almost fell for this just today! So glad I found this thread. Got a call from a Washington DC number (+1 (202) 666-6782). They said I needed to call another number (+1 (202) 666-6782). Said based on my demographics I qualify for a $9200 loan from the US Government but I need to go to Walgreens to purchase an iTunes card and then extend the balance. ALMOST followed through since I'm financially tight right now but decided to do a bit of research first. Thank goodness!

I received a call from a Chinese lady I'm sure with asian accent from 1 202-591-2180. She said I received a government grant of 9000 because i filed all my taxes and never filed for bankruptcy, in order to claim my grant that I need a confirmation code which is 2 letters and 3 numbers in order to receive my grant that "I never have to pay back" to call 646 475- 1606 a representative will pull up my file and tell me how to receive my funds in cash.

I asked her name she said Stefanie grey I ask the company she said u.s. government. I called a Chinese man directed Me to go to a rite Aid or cvs and call him back at the 646 number and he will direct me what card to buy to avoid taxes on my wire transfer from cvs or rite aid who if I use money transfer service like money gram or western union i will be charged a fee.

I kept asking what is the name of the card when I heard he spelled it out I as in ink T as in tom. It spelled out Itunes I was to load $250 onto the card then give him the code. The code will obviously be so he could receive the money and me lose my 250 bucks. I didn't fall for it! I'm posting this so no one does and be out there hard earned money.

There is no such thing as free money you don't have to pay back even if you win the lottery it is required by law taxes are paid on that. Don't fall for these scams I asked his name he said Jack Owens. Beware of these phone numbers. I Google Itunes scam hopefully this informstion saves someone.

Thank you for sharing your story. Please report this to law enforcement at The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

I tried that with no luck the website is hard to navigate to submit a complaint.
I'm glad my posting has helped some innocent people who was at least smart enough to Google there numbers. It looks like they have new numbers that will try to scam from. I have not received any more calls like these I also use the block feature on my phone to immediately block those numbers after the attempted scam. These scammers won't stop until there behind bars. This is obviously there job when hardworking people are out at work. These scammer job is trying to scam. Let the keyword be TRY don't let them scam you. A word of advice if someone is loaning you money. your not required to pay anything before a loan that's why it is called a loan because you need money, not you pay money. Don't release any information to anyone asks you money if the scammer are pro they probably will try you again especially if you were caught once.

I got a call from these people but what is scary is they have all my information. My ssi address everything

My employee was contacted two days ago on her mobile from a number that started with 347 prefix. The scammer said she was from the IRS and she would call the courthouse if a payment wasn't made immediately for 7 years of back taxes not paid, about $9000.00. She had her walk to her bank, withdraw all her money ($3000.00), she walked her to 3 different stores, 7/11, Walgreens, and Jewel-Osco, a local grocery store and buy 9 ITUNES cards for about $450.00 each. The scammer was giving step by step instructions to my employee on where to go, turn left, turn right, clearly consulting a map, and maybe even accessing the GPS on her phone, as she reprimanded her for having walked into the bank as opposed to getting money from the ATM, shouting, "why did you go inside the bank?"

The news here is that Apple has an ITUNES BILLINGS AND FRAUD DEPARTMENT THAT WILL REIMBURSE YOU. It took us 3 hours to get THE RIGHT AGENT ON THE LINE because no one at Apple knew about this department. The iTunes department kept saying if the account has been emptied, there would be nothing they could do, even a supervisor knew nothing about their own fraud dept, but FINALLY, I was connected to a this department and they informed me that they not only do they reimburse for the fraud if you bought the cards in an Apple Store, they also reimburse you if you bought the cards elsewhere, and ask you to make both
a) a police report and
b) a claim to the CORPORATE OFFICE of the store you purchased the iTunes gift card.
Hopefully you have kept the receipts and iTunes gift cards, because they do need these.

APPLE will reimburse the iTunes gift card contractor for the store you bought the iTunes cards from, and they should then reimburse you. Walgreens had a very hard time with this concept, insisting they could do nothing, so I am still working on them, but Jewel Osco and 7/11 knew about the procedure.
Jewel Osco was the only one that said the money would be available for reimbursement in 72 hours! They were also very polite. All three gave me a claim number and filed a report so their specialists could call back in a few days. I will keep you posted

Hi Laura
Thank you for this information. I lost 4100. Only 1 credit card company reimbursed me. I called itunes who told me to call the head quarters of the department stores where I purchased them. They were no help. I will take your advice and try again. I am a Christian and praying for a solution.

Please report this to the FTC at The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

what is the billing and fraud phone number?

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).

I almost just got scammed by a caller telling me he was calling from the IRS and that I was going to be arrested because I owe back taxes!! He wanted me to go to a CVS or Rite Aid drug store and purchase a gift card in the amount of $400.00. I almost fell for it until I started searching the internet while I was on the phone with the guy. I found this site and hung up the phone on him!!! He told me I had to immediately get in my car and go to the store all while keeping him on line so he could verify I made the purchase and then give him the information from the car. This was so I could prove to the IRS I was trying to settle my debt of 3200.

Even better, please add a 16 digit number we can give these scammers that will send the police to their address

Some one called me she said I have been selected to get a free money grants from the government and she ask me to call "Emma green" so I called. Emma green wants me to go to the nearest Walmart and said call her back again when I'm in the parking lot so I called her again and she wants m to buy that iTunes gift card for $250 and after it I will give her the pin. So i didn't do it she was like are you sure u don't want to get your $7600 plus the $250? I'm like Y would I buy that card? Then she stay on line and I'm like you know what cancelled that application and etc. scammers will do anything and say anything just to make it look like it's legit hahah I spoke with Indian people

First time taking a loan out , a guy name Jason Martinez from cash advance was helping me with a loan. He wanted my account info I gave it to him. My loan was 3000 for a car , he knew my situation I told him this is my first time taking out a loan. He gave me his number and he wanted me to send a picture of myself for my file... So I sent a fake picture at first then I sent my real picture.

He told me he was giving me money well the government was 500$ so I can build up my credit , I had to go to Walgreens got two iTunes card put 400 on one n 100 on the other which he told me to do. I sent him the code n he said I was going to get me loan.

He calls again hours later he told me his boss said I didn't qualify but not to worry I needed a few points to get the loan cuz my credit . So he provided me another 500 $ to get my credit up , so bascially did the same process again.

I told him I saved all my reciets the iTunes cards everything , n he texts me n says can he get a picture but just for him I said no I called him n I yelled at him about what's going on he clicked on me . I called again he said I will get my loan of 3000 n every month I have to pay 100$ which I was going to do.

I feel like this is a scam because I have not received my loan. But I don't get it what did he get out of me . They gave me 1000 total I didn't spend it I just did what he told me to do I gave it back cuz he said something about if I take off with the money I'm in trouble. & I still haven't got my loan.

You gave someone your bank account number and your picture. It's possible they could use this information to take money from your account, or to commit identity theft. You can check your credit report for free, to see if anyone opened new accounts or did anything using your name.

If your credit report shows identity theft, go to You can report identity theft and get help with fixing the problems caused by identity theft.

If there's a problem with the money he deposited in your account, you may have to repay it. For example, if he used a bad check to put money in your account, the bank will expect you to pay it back.

This FTC article tells you some warning signs of loan scams.

Cash advance told me I qualified for alone. And to put 229 on itune verification card. And money will be in account in 60 minutes. That sound like a scam

my case is slightly different. I applied for a loan of £3,000.00 they said the instalment would be £100 per month for 3 years. I said what's the catch.

To show I could repay the loan I need to buy a £100 iTunes card. I said what's that and he told me about it and where I could purchase, he then said tescos or Sainsburys. He said when I get the card to call them give them the number and that I should stay on the line whilst they take the number and I would see the monies sent to my account. He said when soon can I go to the shops I said that wont happen until end of the day. he says he's gonna call me today at 4.30pm when I said I finish work. His name is Mr Jack, indian accent contact number is 0208 144 2427 they have been calling me from yesterday. I called the number and they say there are loads of companies in the building. I wont be purchasing any iTunes card and I can see they will continue to keep calling me, but decided to check before I even decided to do anything because it was too good to be true. This is a very good site.

Thank you for sharing your story. To help law enforcement, please make a formal report at You can give details about the call, and choose whether to identify yourself. The details help law enforcement agencies with investigations.

You can subscribe to recieve FTC scam alerts and consumer information at

So I met my boyfriend on a dating site and we got to know each other but a little later on he asked me to get him a credit card and I can't for reasons and we fought about it the later on again he asked me to get him a iTunes card and I said no and he said he needs it when I asked him why he never told me am I being scammed or can y'all help me


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