Scam with Apple Gift Cards… What We Need to Know

Apple Gift Card Scams

Scams are being used more and more against people, especially companies, causing significant financial losses and customer problems. 

A series of scams occur by asking people to get payments over the phone for hospital bills, taxes, bail money, debt collection, and utility bills. Online fraud, which is lately causing a lot of issues, including one report mentioning that 1,000 frauds were arrested in 20 different countries, is dedicated to using many methods, including gift cards. 

This kind of scam is called confidence fraud. It is achieved by having scam artists pretend they are somebody people know and care about and play on their desire to help their friend. Once the scammers get the iTunes gift cards pictures, they cash in by selling the codes for a fraction of the retail price. 

According to Apple’s website, the latest scam of this kind involves the Apple gift card scam., with the iPhone parent stating, “if you think you’re the target of a scam involving Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, or Apple Store Gift Cards, you can call Apple at 800-275-2273 (U.S.) and say, “gift cards” when prompted.” 

The statement added that “the fraudsters are demanding codes from App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, Apple Gift Cards, or Apple Store Gift Cards; we want to make sure our customers know these scams.” 

After the cards have been bought, the victim is requested to pay by conveying the code(s) on the back of the card during a phone call with a person. 

It is worth mentioning that the App Store, iTunes and Apple Gift Cards are used to acquire goods and services from the Big Tech giant, including Apple Retail Stores, their official website, App Store, iTunes Store, and Apple Books, for subscriptions to its services like Apple Music, Apple News+, and Apple Arcade, or iCloud storage. 

Those cards can be delivered only to the Apple Online Store and at Apple Retail Stores. At the same time, the customer can be approached to use the cards for any other payment; they could most probably be the target of a scam and should immediately convey it to the police department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at

Tips to Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Scam 

To avoid becoming a victim of scams, people should never offer the numbers on a Gift Card to someone they do not know. Although Apple is known for its high-security protocols and has made it easy to delete accounts in case of frauds, the dangerous part is that when the numbers are provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will be spent before customers can contact Apple or law enforcement. 

Customers should not use their App Store & iTunes Gift Card, Apple Gift Card, or Apple Store Gift Card if they are not purchasing an item from any of Apple’s online stores, Apple Books, or for an Apple Music subscription or iCloud storage. 

Apple iTunes Gift card Scams 

Getting more into details, a Fredericton Canadian woman was the target of an iTunes gift card scams email that aimed to take advantage of the generosity of her contacts and friends. Hackers controlled her email account and then sent everyone in her contacts an email. 

In such incidents, where scammers ask for iTunes gift cards, users on the receiving end are not aware of the situation, placing them in a position of weakness, exposing them to such a trick. 

“I need a favor from you. I need to get iTunes gift cards for my niece because it’s her birthday, but I’m traveling. Can you pick them up from a store around you? I’ll pay you back as soon as I am back.” 

The surprise came when people who has actually decided to respond to the email request were notified to buy $200 worth of iTunes gift cards, scratch the back of the cards to reveal the PINs, take a photo of the PINs and send the picture back. 

iTunes Gift card Scam Refund 

An iTunes gift card scam refund is available by freezing the account. A spokesman from iTunes said that if a person contacts Apple Support after sending the gift card code – and the money has not been drained from the card – they can freeze the account and refund the money. However, Apple recommends people file a complaint with the FTC if the money is already gone. 

“We’ve witnessed a big spike in consumer losses related to iTunes gift cards and complaints,” said Karen Hobbs, a senior attorney at the Federal Trade Commission. 

“iTunes is a recognized name, but many people don’t understand how it works, and that’s what the scammers are counting on.” 

According to a warning issued on the FTC website, payments through iTunes gift cards are used to commit different types of phone scams. These include callers who pretend to be family members needing money to endure an emergency, phony debt collectors, and fake IRS agents. 

The U.S. Treasury Department issued a scam alert stressing that callers mimicking IRS agents or pretending to be with the Treasury Department are asking for payments on iTunes gift cards. 

iTunes Gift Card Scams Online Dating 

On the same note, customers should never agree to pay the IRS with iTunes gift cards leading to iTunes card scams.  

According to internet security specialist and blogger Brian Krebs, Russian cybercriminals have collected a dating scam package filled with English language shapes that tricksters can pick and choose from as they fool their victims along. 

It includes photographs of attractive women that users can personalize with romantic messages. At the same time, the scammer asks for money using emails that even tell the victims how to raise cash if they’re broke. 


Technology has increased the possibility of cyberattacks and the threat of scamming, leading to the idea of protecting people’s data emerging to avoid scams such as the one involving Apple gift cards. Therefore, cybersecurity has become an essential element in the company’s strategies, especially the tech ones. 

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