Apple has just published a new support document regarding ongoing scams involving Apple Gift Cards, App Store and iTunes Gift Cards, and Apple Store Gift Cards.
“A string of scams are taking place asking people to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, hospital bills, bail money, debt collection, and utility bills”, notes Apple.
According to Apple, the scams are committed using many methods, including gift cards. “As the fraudsters are sometimes requesting codes from Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, or Apple Store Gift Cards, we want to make sure our customers are aware of these scams.”
If someone asks you to purchase Apple Gift Cards to settle a debt, pay a bill, or cover a fine — it’s a scam.
— Apple Support (@AppleSupport)
Apple also warns against providing 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.”
“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.”
If you’re approached to use Apple gift 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.