The IRS doesn’t want your iTunes cards

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If anyone tells you to buy iTunes cards to pay the IRS, qualify for a grant, get a loan or bail out a family member, say “No.” They’re trying to scam you. The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.

People have told the FTC about scammers who called and demanded iTunes cards as “payment.” Bogus “IRS agents” told people they owed back taxes and would be arrested soon, unless they bought an iTunes card and gave the code to the “agent.” Phony “government grant” officers called and promised a big payout, after the person bought an iTunes card and read the code to the “grant officer.” Other fraudsters told people their grandkids were in jail and the only way to help was — you guessed it — to buy an iTunes card and read the code over the phone. All the stories were false.

There’s a reason scammers insist on getting iTunes cards: Once you tell a scammer the code from the back of an iTunes card, he takes control of the value on the card. He can use the code or sell it. After a person redeems the code, you can’t get your 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. And if you hear from someone who wants you to send an iTunes card, please tell the FTC.

Tagged with: imposter, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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What we do?

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.

I received a call anouncing a 1 time gov grant from U.S. dept of Health & human services. There is a prossessing few. Then there was a tax.Now there's another few. And because I now believe it's a scam and I said I'm going to go on tv and announce to the world what they are doing. Now they are asking for more money

I did the same thing. They already had much of my information. After telling them that I knew this was a scam he hung up on me. After calling back, I was told that my grant had been cancelled and I would be charged $1000 for cancellation.

Yes, I now realize that this is exactly what's happening to me. Unfortunately I caught on after spending $300 dollars. Then they asked me for an additional $750. They promised me grant money from the government of 8,000 dollars. I should have listened to my first instinct because I knew it was too good to be true.

how do we get our money back, what are you to say to the store you got the cards from, Apple is not really handling this right and i am out 800

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

I did this please help me get my money back PLEASE!

If you give someone the codes from an iTunes card, he takes control of the value on the card. He can use it or sell it. After someone redeems the codes, you can't get your 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

Apple needs to set limits as to how much you can put on the card. In considering that the cards are mainly used for gifts there should be a limit. Apps, Music etc. should NOT exceed any more than 100.00 per card.

Just Saying.

I buy all my apps at the stores. Amazon needs to do the same.

When there are limits the calls will stop because it will take to long to give out all the codes.

As for the prepaid credit cards! People need to be more aware of the scammers.

All I know! The FTC will never get the scams to stop.

Unfortunately there is very little we can do to get our money returned. All we can really do is live and learn from mistakes, mishaps and oversight. The only thing I saw on the computer is to call Apple support and explain the situation. They many be able to cancel the card if they catch it early.

I was just scammed out of $750 using
iTunes cards.I was told I was receiving a $7000 government grant but to send it via western union there was a fee of $250 and that I was from a taxable state and they wanted $850. I gave them $500 thinking that I would receive it back with the $7000. They had me read the ITunes account numbers off the back of the cards to them. I thought this was an interesting way to receive money so it wouldn't touch my personal account information. I learned my lesson well. If they tell you to use an ITunes card to pay them HANG UP!!

I just got a call saying I was chosen for a $7,000 grant because I have paid all my taxes on time. Funny thing was my name was never asked and the call came in on my sons cell phone. I was given a ID# and told to go to the nearest Walgreens, Rite Aid or CVS. I told her CVS was 10 minutes away. She never asked for any money and told me that it was a recorded line and no personal information would be asked for.

I was given a 202-464-2535 phone number and instructed to call the supervisor at this number when I was in CVS parking lot. Because they never asked for money I went to CVS to see how this all played out. Once I called the man who answered the phone he gave the name of Mark Harper. He explained that during the process of sending me this grant of $7,000 it was possible that we could run in to a problem and I would have to prove that I had $105 on hand to be able to pay a commercial fee that is required by my state from the state and federal government. This fee could be as much as 50%. I would not be required to pay this today.

But I had to purchase a ITune card to prove I had it available if needed. That the only thing a ITune card could be used for was to purchase music, games, or books from apple. That no one could take the money off except me. I also asked after this is done how am I suppose to receive my money. He said CVS is a Money Gram location. So I could get it sent by money gram, direct deposit or by check. But I could not be asked how I wished to receive it until it was actually being processed. Well the CVS location I was at does not do Money Grams. I'm not sure if others CVS locations do them or not. But then he asked if I was at the card rack in the store. I told him no that I was not aware I needed money so I would have to go home and grab my debit card.

He said he needed to stay on the line while I went home that I didn't need to speak to him. I could just put him on hold or mute. But if I hung up my paperwork would be incomplete and my grant would not go through. So I got online put in government grant scams and this page popped up. In the search field I typed in ITunes and saw all these post. I got back on the phone and told the man that I looked it up online and they said it was a scam. He replied who said that. Then the line went silent. It is crazy that they go through all of this to steal from people.

But to pay $105 and get $7,000 seems worth it. I know in this time and age everyone could use $7000 that never had to be paid back. I know I sure can. I am not 100% sure. But I don't think you have to claim a grant on your taxes at all. So no fees should ever be required to get a grant. I knew from the start that this was probably a scam. But when she never said anything about money or never asked if I had a credit card. I decided to see how this was going to play out. So I wanted to let everyone know Please don't fall for this. It is really sad that a lot of people don't know that you don't have to pay anything when receiving a grant and they get scammed. Some people out of the last money they have. Or they even borrow to get the money to give these criminals.

These details would be useful to law enforcement. Please report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations nationwide.

Can I get in trouble for recording these freaks on my cell phone from my land line? They call my landline in which has caller ID and speaker phone. I use my cell phone to record them.

7/25/16 I was a victim of the i tunes irs scam in the amount of $3000.00. It happened exactly like is stated above. They identify themselves as IRS restitution agents with badge numbers. I purchased the cards and gave the guy the numbers off the back, before it felt off. I contacted my bank to cancel card, and I called Apple to have the cards cancelled.

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

Did Apple and Credit Card company refund you? It happened to me for 2000 dollars today :(

This happened to me today. I am extremely embarrassed and worried about getting my money back from my credit card company. I was threatened in many ways and was scammed for $3000. I reported it to the police, here and called my credit card company. I am mortified and the credit card company didn't back me feel better. The charges are still pending online, so I plan to call HEB the merchant I got the iTunes gift cards from. Did you guys get a refund? I have a case investigation starting where a detective will be contacting me tomorrow. I have a case number, the receipts, the voicemail they left and the iTunes cards. Please tell me other people have received a refund. I thought credit card companies are there to help you with theft.

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 IRS never calls someone on the phone! Never give anyone money that ask for it immediately or for free money. Once you give them money it is almost impossible to recover it!Scammers on the phone are rampant.

LOOK I JUST WANNA REPORT EMAIL ADDRESS PICS OF ACCOUNTS AN PAY CARDS ARE BEING SENT TO = Francis.Morris4455 ....Scammers email address!!!

I received one of those "IRS" calls a few minutes ago. I didn't call them back so I don't know how they would have wanted me to pay.

Thank you for this alert.

I was scammed back in June for $ 1700. Is there a way I can get my money back

If you give someone the codes from an iTunes card, they take control of the value on the card. He can use it or sell it. Once someone redeems the codes, you can't get your 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/complaint.

Yeap i need its receive for $1700 get back to me

I know that the real IRS will never accept any money or gift cards as payment. If anything, it's mostly checks, credit cards, and anything else that can be easily traced. One other thing, the IRS has mentioned numerous times that they never do call anybody if they would owe them taxes, just send them a certified letter only, but nothing else. In other words, any phone call, email, or text from the IRS is obviously fake.

I've been contacted by the IRS via mail a few times and it came through regular mail, not certified mail. The addresses and phone numbers were all verifiable via google search. All official responses by me had to be done by fax or mail and by them via mail. The first request is usually for a written explanation and more info, not money. I've never had to pay more after my written response. Today the scammer (foreign accent) called me and said they were from the US Treasury about a tax liability. So obviously they don't understand the tax system.

My mother 71 was scammed by man n woman the man saying he was lawyer and woman saying she was her granddaughter my daughter and she was in bad car wreck which broke her bottom jaw and she was in bad trouble cause her friend was pregnant and my daughter had a glass of wine and accident was her fault and needed money wired western union ASAP so didn't have to be in jail all weekend.

$1608 then called back 1hr. Later wanting another $1000 by that time I had my daughter on fone with her grandma. But It sounded pretty slick my mother is very sharp and thought it was her grandchild, and lawyer seem to have quick answers for her questions. Had her in complete panic.

That happened to my mom last year, they pretended to be him and then his lawyer. They told her not to tell anyone. Since the grandchild in question is in the military, she was scared to death that if she told anyone he would get in trouble. She couldn't imagine that it was true, but was so shaken up, she wasn't thinking clearly... thankfully she called me and I was able to get in contact with him and verify that he was fine and at work, just as he should be. I hoped the people would call back as promised so i could get enough info to report them, but they didn't call back. I always try to play along and get as much info as possible to report them!! It makes me so angry for criminals to prey on people, especially old people!!

Another left message on my cell phone from Kissamee, FL regarding 'urgent file #xxxxx.' Don't know what they wanted in the way of payment as I didn't answer or listen to the complete message. Same the other day from Cleveland. Threats of action regarding tax due - absolute BS.

I got a similar call leaving a message I had a criminal case filed against me and I had to call right away. They called twice and I guess gave up because I did not return the call. Isn't it true that if the IRS wants to make contact they will send you a letter? I knew I had no criminal case filed against me so the rationale they used let me know it was a scam.

Yes, if the IRS needs to reach you, it will start by sending you a letter. This FTC inforgraphic shows what IRS imposters do.

https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/press/press_tigta-2016-01.htm

ATTENTION:
I received a phone call from "IRS" yesterday 8/30/16. The person on the other line said that he works for the IRS and he is calling me from his NEW YORK office.
He goes by Simon William (Indian accent) and
his ID#: 549621-2016 (I asked for his ID which I first believed him....no bueno! :/ )

He stated that I have a lawsuit from the IRS and that I owe over $4000. And, he went in detail on how he wanted the money to be delivered. He told me NOT to get off the phone at all even during the transaction and he wanted me to put the money in I-Tunes card. And said NOT TO TELL ANYONE IF NOT I WILL APPEAR ON THE NEWS HAVING A CRIMINAL RECORD.
I was in tears since I have to admit this is my very first time dealing with such LOW of a human being (little upset). I cannot believe there is people with no heart and soul. NEVER gave any numbers, he tried to sound convincing, but something in me said get off the phone and call the IRS.. I am very glad I reached the IRS, and checked my file which I am in Good Standings and that I need to report it to:
www.treasury.gov/tigta/---->click on IRS Impersonation Scan Reporting (Red Box on the right side) (I sent my complaiNT -- HOPE THESE PEOPLE GET CAUGHT!!!!)

This person called me today 8/30/2016 at 1:10PM from:
(202)846-0499
And, he got the nerve to call me from a different phone at 2:12PM:
(914)297-6412
Thought to share it in case you get these numbers and hopefully to help someone else.

Don't be a victim!!
This people need to get caught!! Feel bad for those innocent!!!

REMEMBER: IRS NEVER CONTACT YOU BY PHONE! (From IRS agent's words!)

This happened to me. I was told I qualified for a $9,000 grant and the only thing I would have to do is purchase a iTune card. They went as far as to give me a ID number and they gave a address where they were located in Washington D.C. As I persisted on with them to give me their supervisor name, business ID number, they asked me if I wanted the grant or not! They even knew that I lived within so many miles from a particular store---scary! But I soon called the FTC and reported them.

Thank you for reporting at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you gave goes into a database that law enforcement agencies nationwide can use for investigations.

The same thing happened to me today. If I bought a $300 ITunes card my $9000 would be processed plus the $300... $9300. Too good to be true?

If anyone tells you to buy iTunes cards to pay the IRS, qualify for a grant, get a loan or bail out a family member, say “No.” They’re trying to scam you. The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.

Once you read the code on the iTunes card to someone, he takes control of the value on the card. He can use it or sell it. You won't get your money back.

 

I received a text message saying that they were some lawyer and have a case file of information on me regarding taxes owe to the Internal Revenue service","IRS" and saying if I don't call them back they will be forced to take legal actions. I deleted it.

Because for one thing the Internal revenue service and the IRS are one of the same, and second the IRS will never, never, never, ever call nor text. They only communicate through the United States Postal service.

I have lost $3,250 because of this type of a scam. They claimed (pretending to be IRS)I own taxes because of foreign transactions and they have used a parallel police phone telling me to get ready since I a going to be arrested

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

You can report an IRS impersonator to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

Just received a computer phone call saying I owed the IRS. Wanted me to call immediately. Wireless caller no. 585 358-8597. Beware

Got the same call, same number. Blocked number 585-358-85975506

received a call from 518-227-4765 claiming that IRS is investigating me and asking for a return call. obviously a scam. I would like to have that person investigated and prosecuted.

tried to post a scam for other users' benefit but the post was refused. if you need more info please be more specific.

Ya once I got a call from my ex wife demanding cash cuz she lost the house I gave her(while gambling) and her new husband left her and the new guy she got is broke and..... I gave her cash and much more for 25 years all for family, the kids. Love them.

Yesterday morning, a little after 7:00, I received five calls in rapid succession from the IRS office in Kingston, Jamaica. I didn't answer any of the calls, but I did receive a voice mail from "Officer Jack Robinson of the IRS." He gave me a number to call him back regarding a lawsuit against me. He said that the matter was urgent. I didn't call.

Here's a new variation. Permanently-injured woman offers sex for 'a small amount'. Quite a ways in, asks that up to $750 of it be given in iTunes cards. I knew it was a scam from the beginning. Just listened out of curiosity.

Got a call from 202-386-6492 with the Name C Belcher on caller ID saying they were from the Irs

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