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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

I tapped on a site not knowing it was a N. U. D. E. Site and now I have 12 hours to pay a fine I need help I didn't know what the word was and it was fake and set up and I have 12 hours to 100 dollars and might arrested I neeeeeed help

I was asked to purchase a iTunes card of $50.00 and scratch the back and give him the code.

A man in the army in afghanstan asked to buy his daughter 200dollars music cards send them to him in kabu

Just curious what this guy's name was. I have received a similar request from someone in Afganistan.

I knew it must be a scam ...so I let em praddle on incessantly until I heard," iTunes card n $250 " I stated 'definitely a scam -do not contact me again! 2027908403 their number....I'm sure they have altered it by now! Sad thing is, lovely if it were true...Alas, not so.I kept asking what country he was ringing from....he said 'dc' yeah, I don't believe so . thank you for listening. Don't purchase these cards!

I live in Maryland and 202 is definitely a D.C. area code. Still a scam, but he could have been in D.C. He also could have been spoofing a D.C. number but 202 is for sure D.C.

I think i got scam as well i wish i wouldve been more aware if the situation i panic cause they said they were going to get arrested with my child

I just had someone call claiming to be a lender called United. They offered me a $10,000 personal loan at an interest-rate. I was interested in since it is lower then one of the revolving credit accounts I have. So of course I listened, and then he indicated that there was a $300 fee to start the loan and that I had to go purchase three, $100 iTunes gift cards. That is when I started looking it up and found this. They make it very attractive and I am so sorry for the number of people that must get scanned over this.

I got offered a loan from forrest loans but they want a 25 pound iTunes voucher first is it a scam

Is there any recourse to get your money back from the bank if this happens.

Well yes it's true I found out the hard way should have done some investigating and checked it out cause they got me for 350 dollars in itunes cards the number is 209-396-5998 and the persons name is Christiana and says she works for the United States Government Federal Grants Program

I was contacted by a guy that was supposed to be in the military. He started by being all interested in me, etc and hes in Afghanistan. about a week later he starts asking me to apply for Wal-Mart credit card I said I didn't qualify, I didn't really apply. So them he works down to an iTunes card, I'm thinking $25. No he wants like $500 or more! I don't have that! At first he was sending me money to help me and some to his kids through his lawyer but it quickly changed to this. And he said without the iTunes card he won't be able to talk to me. So I started googling to see what the card was for I thought was just for music, then I found this scam! Glad I did! Besides if u have properties and a lawyer he should be able to do it. I never sent anything, I blocked him!!

I just had a love interest from an online dating site ask me to buy him an itunes gift card. He is also stationed in Afganistan. Lives in NC. Not communicating again.

Tango video chat and messaging is a new one to hit the scam, pretty woman asking you to send them an ITunes card so they can upgrade their phone. dumb as hell if you fall for this one, you want your phone upgraded go to your general settings and update it, ITS FREE, just be careful people

Someone told me to buy a 15 dollar iTunes gift card and send him the code and he will send me money how do this work

If you buy the iTunes card and tell him the code, he takes control of the card and the money on the card.

He wants you to give him something first, and he says he'll give you money later. It could be a scam.

Will claim into FTC helps to get money back ? I am a victim of iTunes card for 600$. What should I do to get money 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.

 

The FTC can't help you with a personal case, but when you report scams to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint it helps law enforcement. The information you give goes into a secure database that law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

 

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

I tell you, i’m screwed. They $650, then they were asking me for a $100 more coz they said the other card is invalid. I was so stupid because I wanted a loan, thank u for this site. I should stop and just go borrow money to the bank, it was Advance America y’all.

I have a question
if I was selling an item on Craigslist and some one responded saying they're interested in purchasing the items then sends me a email stating that he sent 300 but I only was supposed to get 200 the reason for the extra 100 is for payment of iTunes where I have to first purchase 100 dollars worth of iTunes gift card and send code to PayPal then they'll fund me the 200 is this a scam
or is the person really telling me the truth he's saying it's for the safety of both party

If someone says he'll pay you extra, but really you have to send him money (or iTunes cards) first, it's a scam.

My daughter just had a new experience. She applied online for a personal loan with a company she researched and felt was legitimate. They told her she would have to buy gift cards in the amount of the first payment to prove she will really pay it back. They told her she would have to provide the card numbers and security codes. This problem just keeps getting worse

im being hacked and controlled and abused and my family is

I was ask to go buy Google play cards but them put the money into my account .then they would do it once more add money to your account and do the same thing then they would give you the loan scam or not?

This could be a scam. If you buy a gift card and give someone the number from the card, they take control of the card. If you use your own money to pay for the gift card and they don't pay you back, you lose money.

A scammer could deposit a bad check in your account, so you think you have money to spend. But it could take a couple weeks for the bank to find out that check is no good. If you withdraw money, and then the bank finds out that check was bad, you will have to repay the bank.

Hello I didn't use for order iTunes thanks let me know

well i fell for this i tune con 4 times from the same person.

he said he needed the i tune card to roam his phone to keep calling me. that same person sent me a check of 12000.00 wanted me to deposit it into my bank and send him the money

i didn;t do that i was out the money on the i tunes though. beware of stevelucero339            hes very good and truly loves you

my name is Rhonda I just got scammed by somebody from New York City and said that I had received a government grant for $7,800 and all I needed to do is get itunes card for 250 dollars at first he said 100 I went up and got100.00 I gave him the code he said there was a problem with taxes from new york to texas so I need to send another 150 dollars so I did that he give me another number to call this number was to the federal Reserve Bank in New York Citythe number he gave me is 1-631-485-4884 her name is Kelly bell so I called her at that number and she said I had to have a additional 500.oo dollars to be sent to her because there was a transfer fee from bank to bank . So I called my bank and ask them what the fee was. When I found out how much it was the red flag came up.so everyone please be careful with these government grants that won't you to put money on itunes cards. The other person name is henry william the number is 1-315-217-5563.

I had the same thin happen to me. Her name was Nancy Adams, then I got Sam Johnsons and Bryan Johnson.

I just receive the same call the grant was for 8000.00 but I needed the I tune card for 200.00 I was to give the code from the card to a lady name Jessica Wilson at 845-809-4651 and go to Western union call her back and give her the code she gave me. Once told me not to mention this to the western union folks I knew it was a scam

Same happened to me, first a guy called the asked me to call Jennifer at this number 3475350558 the lady asked for a $300 iTunes gift card, that's so annoying

i had the same thing happen to me by steve he got me for the itune he sent me the ch for 12000.00 yes how he loved me.

U really got the 12000

He got scammed 4 times obviously the scammer don't have 1200 to give him there robbing him his money. They send a check that he will have to cash at his bank. After the check bounces his bank account will be negative 1200. Don't do what this guy does he's gullable and has money to waste. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

There's people pretending to be a country artist like carry Underwood and Hugh Hefner that's scamming

Got a scam call from Alex Smith claim he was calling from the Federal Grant Department in Washington DC who transferred me to Nora extension 101 she told me in order to claim 9000 dollars I had to first purchase an iTune gift card for 250.00 to pay a registration fee. Beware of spending money to get money. Thats a sure thing that you will be ripped off left with nothing zero.

This experience I just had was exactly like yours! I thought we had a good thing going. He asked me to get itune card or go to Walmart so he can reactivate his cell's roaming minutes. I didnt do as he said as I checked online about Itune cards scam and lo and behold! I found the article. Well, I don't really fall for anything involving money no matter what my feelings are for the person. He is jwalter1960@

Thanks

They called me twice while I was trying to fill out my complaint to the FTC site. Is there not anyway to stop them? I'm getting tired of being harassed and threatened.

Block the caller and then put your number on do-not-call-lists

Do you honestly think scammers care if your number is on a "Do Not Call" list? Do you think thy care if they are breaking the do not call laws? That is like thinking criminals are going to obey gun laws...

I don't use iTunes but every time I try to use my iPad they pop up and want me to sign in. I have no credit card on file anywhere and I have iTunes turned off so what do they keep trying to get me to sign in. Please stop. I am not going to use them!

i got a call yesterday may 10, 2016. from a gentlemen saying he was with the irs the number is 202-792-8975. this is getting really crazy can some boby stop this

I got the same call from the same #. This is a scam.

Thats the same number they calked me with today. Did as directed to avoid warrants an jail.they wanted 3500.00 only paid 1k .Only an hr later i figured scam. As IRS would want paid by other than I Tunes

Please report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

We have noticed this trend and are wondering, how do they convert the iTunes card into money? Sell them on eBay?

They don't there's no way to convert iTunes gift cards to cash, that's why it's super hard to get your money back when you buy the cards and give away the codes

Scammers can sell an iTunes code on the black market or a gift card exchange website.  If you buy an iTunes gift card or code at a steep discount, you risk getting something that doesn't work, and losing money.  And, you might be helping a con artist make money.

I run a municipal office of Consumer Affairs and regularly inform our residents about these scams and attempts at identity theft, as I am continually advised they are repeated regularly.

Unfortunately, most of the scammers use throw-away phones and disguise the true calling information so IRS, FTC and other government organizations cannot find and prosecute many of them. The callers are getting more abusive and their threats are a signal that they are trying to scam you. Merely hang up and try to report them to the proper authorities as both IRS and FTC have scam-reporting contacts. NEVER give any personal information to strangers and NEVER respond by using gift cards or Western Union payments. Also, NEVER cash a check sent you from an unknown source, as this is another way scammers get information for identity theft.

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