The song charcoal the same: You owe aback taxes and now face arrest or a lawsuit. Your grandkids are in trouble. Your computer has a alarming virus. You owe a debt, absent binding board assignment or didn’t pay your account bill.
But there’s a new choir in these and added scams: “Now pay me…with an iTunes allowance card.”
Why? Like added swindler-preferred acquittal methods (wire transfers and prepaid debit cards), iTunes allowance cards are a fast, accessible and around untraceable way for con artists to get banknote — or for senders to get it back.
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No amount the ploy, it works like this: A conning addition persuades the ambition to acquirement (online or at a store), amount money and again accommodate (via phone, email or argument message) the 16-digit cipher on the aback of one or added iTunes cards.
“But as anon as you put money on a agenda and allotment the cipher with them, the money’s gone for good, warns the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The card’s amount is again drained, traded or awash on the atramentous market. And you’re larboard with a abandoned allotment of artificial — and, likely, added fraudster buzz calls.
Because iTunes allowance cards are the agnate of cash, their acceptance as a go-to apparatus in abounding antic scams has surged in contempo months and should be an accessible admonition to an approaching rip-off.
“Any alarm requesting that taxpayers abode funds on an iTunes allowance agenda or added allowance cards to pay taxes and fees is an indicator of counterfeit activity!” warns the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Adds ancestor aggregation Apple: “iTunes Allowance Cards are alone for the acquirement of appurtenances and casework on the iTunes Abundance and App Store. Should you accept a appeal for acquittal application iTunes Allowance Cards alfresco of iTunes and the App Abundance amuse address it at ftc.gov/complaint.”
It’s not that these cards accept replaced added scammer-preferred payments; swindlers additionally favor reloadable cards such as MoneyPak, Reloadit or Vanilla; Amazon allowance cards; PayPal; and, of course, wire transfers like Western Union and MoneyGram, the FTC notes. But no government bureau nor any but a scattering of businesses crave any of these acquittal methods.
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And aftermost month, the FTC fabricated it actionable for telemarketers to ask for acquittal by cash-to-cash wire transfers and/or PINs from cash-reload cards like MoneyPak — not that abyss are accepted to chase the government’s adapted Telemarketing Sales Rule.
With iTunes allowance cards proving to be a hit in abounding hoaxes, some complete advice: Unless you’re arcade for music at the iTunes store, you shouldn’t be advantageous with an iTunes allowance card.
For advice about added scams, assurance up for the Artifice Watch Network. You’ll accept chargeless email alerts with tips and assets to advice you atom and abstain character annexation and fraud, and accumulate tabs of scams and law administration alerts in your breadth at our Scam-Tracking Map.
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