Gardai have issued a warning to the public, in particular vulnerable older people, about a scam tricking them into purchasing iTunes gift cards.
In recent weeks, a number of people have “fallen victim to this scam.” In Wicklow and Tipperary two individuals fell victim to the scam and purchased in excess of €1,000 of vouchers while in Co. 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.
The iTunes gift card scam works as follows:
The victim will receive a phone call or voicemail from the scammer, claiming to be a representative of an organisation which they claim the victim owes money. The scammers will then insist immediate payment is required and suggest 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 or voicemails from people claiming to represent a company or organisation you may be a customer of. The caller may have some information about you, so don’t trust them just because they use your name or 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.