iTunes Gift Cards

iTunes Gift Card Scam: How the Scam Works

Gift cards are becoming a hot commodity lately as they can be purchased fast and easy online without the need of going out of the house. Unfortunately, there are many scammers out there who take that to their advantage, even now in March 2019.

Due to iTunes’ constant growing popularity, criminals are now victimizing tens of thousands of people around the world with the “iTunes gift card” approach. There are three variations of this scam – let’s take a look:

 

Scenario 1: Frozen Smarthphone 

Watch the video below to see the Frozen Cellphone iTunes Card scam, exposed:

Buy iTunes Gift Cards Scam Video

Essentially, in this scam your iPhone freezes and a 1-800 Apple Support number calls you. As your Caller ID shows “Apple” on display you believe help is on the way. In reality, the person at the other end is saying that you need to purchase a bunch of iTunes cards to get your working mobile back, as you saw in the video above.

 

Scenario 2: Fake iTunes Websites

Criminals are using the iTunes brand name to lure people into clicking the links they post on Twitter or Facebook. Crooks are spamming their followers’ timelines offering free gift cards, along with a link, which leads to no iTunes site. It is one of the most common scams out there, not just with the iTunes brand, but many well-known ones.

Most of these links are sending the victims to porn, dating sites, survey pages – so they can make a buck out of it as affiliate sellers – or simply to pages full of malware.

itunes gift card

 

Scenario 3: Bogus iTunes Gift Card Purchase

You might receive an email claiming to be from iTunes (see image above). The text will read: “You sent a iTunes Gift Card $200 to (teamtazdojo@gmail.com) Your receipt No.114509772‏”. A gift card image is presented, as well as an invoice. The trick is, in the invoice there is a link offered “to cancel”, if you don’t recognized the transaction.

Needless to say, if you click on that you are taken to a fake website where you are asked for personal information.

iTunes Gift Card Scam: How To Avoid

Always get your iTunes cards from iTunes or their official reps. Random emails sending you to questionable websites are out of the question. Another great place where you can get gift cards from (including free iTunes) is Swagbucks, the world’s largest free online rewards program. You get paid by doing things online which you might do anyway, such as searching the web, discover products, take surveys, watch videos, or play games. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can register for free HERE.

 

iTunes Gift Card Scam: How To Report

Make your family and friends aware of the iTunes Gift Card Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the iTunes Customer Support or the Federal Trade Commission using the links below:

Report To iTunes Support Here

Report Scammers To FTC Here

According to the iTunes Support page: “iTunes will never ask you to provide personal information or sensitive account information (such as passwords or credit card numbers) via email.

Email messages that contain attachments or links to non-Apple websites are from sources other than Apple, although they may appear to be from the iTunes Store. Most often, these attachments are malicious and should not be opened. You should never enter your Apple account information on any non-Apple website. Apple websites that require Account information have apple.com, such as http://store.apple.com, or iforgot.apple.com (with the exception being iCloud.com).

This article describes what steps you should take if you feel you’ve received one of these malicious emails or your account information has been compromised due to an attempt to take your personal information (known as phishing).

What the iTunes Store will never ask you to provide via email: Social Security Number, mother’s maiden name, full credit card number, or credit card CCV code.

“Phishers” create elaborate websites that look similar to iTunes, but their sole purpose is to collect your account information. Often, a fake email will ask you to click on a link and visit one of these phishing websites to update your account information.

In general, all account-related activities will take place in the iTunes application directly, not through a web browser. If you are asked to update your account information, make sure that you do so only in iTunes or on a legitimate page on Apple.com, such as the online Apple Store.”

 

How to protect yourself more:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.

 

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Fiona

Hi – we just fell victim to usgiftcodes.com. Also a scam selling fake iTunes gift cards – do not use! They took our money and converted at a much higher rate than the daily xe.com exchange rate and sent us non-functioning codes. We have attempted to contact them on may occasions and they are refusing to respond to our calls for functioning codes or a refund of our money. In addition we posted feedback on their site which has been removed. They clearly know what they are doing and are just ripping customers off. Please add this site to your… Read more »

Chris

I waited 6 days for a gift card code. They didn’t respond to communication, and I only got the code after I lodged a Paypal complaint. There was no apology or explanation. Lucky I used Paypal! In the meantime I got an iTunes gift card from OffGamers in only a few minutes.

Marie

There is another scam going on. You go to a Chinese website that looks good and then when you go to check out they only take ITUNES card for payment. I never heard of this so i looked around to see if it was a scam and sure enough it is. Here is the Gmail address one of the scam site uses: paysaleoutlet@gmail.com

Sonia

My 86 years old mother was scammed by someone who claimed to be her grandson over the phone. He told my mother that he was involved in a car accident and locked up in jail. He wanted my mother to transfer money to him to help with legal fee. The fake grandson bagged my mother not to tell me. My mother was panicked and she took money out of the bank and asked them how to transfer the cash to them. They instructed my mother to buy iTunes card and read them the numbers over the phone. My mother purchased… Read more »

Lynsie

I was on Facebook and some middle aged guy asked to "friend" me I didn’t friend him but we did send messages back and forth on Facebook. FYI I have a policy of only friending family or friends I’ve known at least 3 years. We’re both single (he’s widowed) and about the same age. I asked him how he found me and he said his son set up an account for him and he looked for family names to add as friends, saw my pic, thought I was attractive and sent a friend request.(though we are not related I have… Read more »

Shalita

Sonia did u ever receive your mom or grandmother money back if so wat did u do

Nona

I was scammed 4,000$ by a phony revenue Canada, threatening me that the RCMP and police would come to my door if I did not pay up. They asked the payment to be in iTunes gift cards. I know that they cannot receive it in cash. I gave them the code….24 hours ago. Is there anyway I could get my money back?

Natalia

Just got a message from a friends skype account asking me to help her buy 5 $100 itunes cards at my grocery store, it was very out of character of her and the persons English was horrible, so I got suspicious. Also a link they sent me was in Chinese. Luckily I didn’t do anything, but someone else may not catch on, so posting this as a heads up.

wendy a braxton

I am a disabled veteran and they scammed me out of $750 .can you help me replace that money

yolanda hernandez

On July 24, 2016. I googled for a number to facebook i am not good with computer. I was scamed by a so called friend from my facebook Robert Coronado. I called the number 18772351150. A Kevin came on the line. I told him how i felt i was scamed by this guy and i had a gut feeling he was involved. Kevin asked for my fb info. said he would be able to check messenger to see activity from Robert. Kevin advised me that yes Robert was involved in the scam and that the money was being sent to… Read more »

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