Regardless of the reason for payment, the scam follows a certain formula: The victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment by purchasing iTunes Gift Cards from the nearest retailer (convenience store, electronics retailer, etc.). After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the 16-digit code on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.
It's important to know that iTunes Gift Cards can be used ONLY to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership. If you're approached to use the cards for payment outside of the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or Apple Music, you could very likely be the target of a scam and should immediately report it to your local police department as well as the FTC.
Please do not ever provide the numbers on the back of the card to someone you do not know. Once those numbers are provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will likely be spent before you are able to contact Apple or law enforcement.
Tips to avoid becoming the victim of a scam
If you are NOT purchasing an item from the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or an Apple Music membership, do NOT make a payment with iTunes Gift Cards. There's no other instance in which you'll be asked to make a payment with an iTunes Gift Card.
Do not provide the numbers on the back of the card to someone you do not know.
Immediately report potential scams to your local police department as well as the FTC (ftccomplaintassistant.gov).
If you have additional questions, or if you've been a victim of a scam involving iTunes Gift Cards, you can call Apple at 800-275-2273 (U.S.) or contact Apple Support online.
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Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.
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