Warning as fraudsters target elderly in iTunes gift cards scam
Victims have been scammed out of thousands of euro
Gardai have issued a warning as fraudsters target the public, in particular the elderly, in an iTunes gift card scam.
People have been tricked into purchasing iTunes gift cards to pay off fake debts.
Gardaí said that in recent weeks a number of people have fallen victim to the scam.
In Wicklow and Tipperary two individuals fell victim to the scam and purchased in excess of €1,000 of vouchers.
In Galway another victim was scammed out of €2,200. In Dublin, one person attempted to purchase €1,000 in iTunes gift cards at a supermarket, before a member of staff became suspicious and contacted gardaí.
Victims of the scam receive a bogus phone call or voicemail from the scammer who claims to be a calling from a company that the victim owes money to.
Upon contact with the victim, the scammers will insist immediate payment is required, suggesting the payment needs to be made by purchasing iTunes gift cards from a retailer.
In some of these cases, victims are told they are facing criminal charges. Once the victim has purchased these cards, the scammers will ask the victim to share the 16-digit code on the back of the card over the phone. The scammers will then use this code to purchase goods online.
Gardaí have urged people to be aware that no company will request payment via iTunes or any other online vouchers. If you receive a call like this, end the call and contact gardaí.
The gardaí have issued the following crime prevention advice to deal with phone or online scams:
- Always say "NO” to unsolicited callers or texters seeking private information about you. Private information includes your name, address, date of birth, family details, bank account numbers, PIN, Passwords.
- Independently verify any requests for information and never use the contact details supplied to you by the caller or texter. Independent means independent of the caller or texter.
- The caller may already have some information about you so don’t trust them because they use your name or other personal information.
- 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.