The iTunes scams first came to light in May this year and, to date, victims have reported almost £520,000 lost to fraudsters.
Apple’s iTunes store sells music, movies and other media via digital download and the vouchers, which can be bought online and are widely available in supermarkets and high street stores across the UK, serve as a popular gift in an era where CDs and DVDs have been surpassed by digital download as the format of choice for many.
Fraudsters have sought to confuse people unfamiliar with Apple’s contactless payment system Apple Pay and trick them into using iTunes gift cards to pay for goods or services over the phone or online.
The criminals don’t need the physical card to redeem the value, and they trick victims into reading out the code over the phone or sending via email. Once they have the code, fraudsters can steal the balance of the card.
Action Fraud has received multiple reports of this approach being used across a variety of scams including loan scams, fake mis-sold PPI scams and schemes urging victims to take action against banking errors.
One victim reported losing £46,000 to scammers via iTunes cards.
A spokesperson for Apple said: “iTunes Gift Cards are solely for the purchase of goods and services on the iTunes Store and App Store. Should you receive a request for payment using iTunes Gift Cards outside of iTunes and the App Store please report it to Action Fraud”.
If you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud using their online fraud reporting tool.
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