There’s a new scam that attempts to get people to pay back taxes by purchasing iTunes gift cards and sharing the code on the back of the card. AARP Fraud Watch Network is alerting consumers about this new scam and providing tips to help consumers protect themselves and their money against fraudsters.
A potential victim is contacted by an impostor claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service informing them that they’re behind in state and federal taxes, and that the potential victim will be arrested if they don't pay back taxes immediately.
The caller directs the potential victim to purchase an iTunes gift card and put the amount they supposedly owe in back taxes, and then call back and provide the 16-digit code that is on the card to complete payment. Finally, the con artist sells the codes on the online black market and pockets the cash.
However, the IRS only accepts checks, cash and credit cards as forms of payment. And Apple sells iTunes gift cards solely for purchases on the iTunes store and its app stores. If you’re not shopping on the iTunes or app stores, you don’t need to buy an iTunes gift card.
The AARP Fraud Network emphasizes that you should never agree to pay anyone besides Apple with an iTunes gift card. If you’re targeted with a scam like this, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
In 2014, AARP launched the Fraud Watch Network to arm Americans with the tools and resources they need to spot and avoid scams and identity theft. But scammers are still out there, making every attempt possible to cheat consumers out of their hard-earned money. The public can sign up for free to receive Fraud Watch Network alerts and more by clicking here.