Beware Apple Gift Card Scams
Be aware of scams involving Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards and Apple Store Gift Cards.
A string of scams is taking place asking people to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, hospital bills, bail money, debt collection and utility bills. The scams are committed using many methods, including gift cards.
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 Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards or Apple Store 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 code(s) on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.
According to Apple Inc., Apple Gift Cards and App Store & iTunes Gift Cards can be used only to purchase goods and services from Apple—including from Apple Retail Stores; apple.com; the App Store; iTunes Store; Apple Books; for subscriptions to Apple Music, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade; or for iCloud storage. Apple Store Gift Cards can be redeemed only on the Apple Online Store and at Apple Retail Stores.
If you’re approached to use the cards for any other payment, you could very likely be the target of a scam and should immediately report it to your local police department as well as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
If you believe you’re the victim of a scam involving Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, or Apple Store Gift Cards, call Apple at 800-275-2273 and say “gift cards” when prompted.
Avoid Becoming a Victim
Never provide the numbers on the back of a gift 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.
If you are NOT purchasing an item from Apple—such as from the Apple Store, iTunes Store, App Store or Apple Books, or for an Apple Music subscription or iCloud storage—do NOT make a payment with an Apple Gift Card, App Store & iTunes Gift Card or Apple Store Gift Card. There’s no other instance in which you’ll be asked to make a payment with either of these gift cards.
- FTC: Scammers Increasingly Demand Payment by Gift Card
- FTC: Scammers push people to pay with iTunes gift cards
- AARP Scam Alert: iTunes Gift Cards the Latest Go-To Tool in Many Gotchas
- IRS: IRS Warns Taxpayers of Summer Surge in Automated Phone Scam Calls; Requests for Fake Tax Payments Using iTunes Gift Cards
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