Gardai issue warning over iTunes gift card scam
Gardaí are again warning the public about a scam tricking people into purchasing iTunes gift cards.
Gardaí in Cork recently received a report of an attempt to defraud a business via email. The email was sent by a person claiming to be the Manager of the company and requested that a staff member purchase €2,000 of iTunes gift cards and send on the voucher numbers.
Thankfully the employee contacted their Manager by phone to verify the request which turned out to be a scam.
This is a new variation in the scam which has previously worked as follows:
The victim will receive a phone call, voicemail or email from the scammer, claiming to be a representative of an organisation, in which they claim the victim owes money. 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 are advising people to be vigilant and suspicious of any calls, voicemails or emails from people claiming to represent a company, or organisation that you may be a customer or employee of.
They may ask you to purchase gift cards or vouchers. The scammer may have some information about you, so don’t trust them just because they use your name or have other personal information.
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.
Crime Prevention Advice
Always say "NO” to unsolicited callers or texters seeking personal information about you. Personal 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.
The caller may already have some information about you so don’t assume trust them just 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 circumstance in which you'll be asked to make a payment with an iTunes Gift Card.
An Garda Síochána or your bank will never look for your Banking PIN number, Password, ask you to transfer money or come to your home to collect your payment card, cheque book or cash.
Speaking at Anglesea Street Garda Station today, Detective Superintendent Healy said
"We fear that this is an emerging scam and would urge people to be vigilant. The retailers of such cards should also be vigilant and commended for previous actions preventing the scam by highlighting concerns when elderly persons attempted to purchase high value amounts of gift cards. Please remember, 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. If you fear you have been a victim of this scam or any other scam for that matter, please pick up the phone and call Gardaí."
Detective Superintendent Sean Healy, Anglesea Street Garda Station is available for a brief phone interview on Friday 17th August between 9am-10am. All requests can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.