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Pay for Concert Tickets via iTunes? Not a Good Idea!

iTunes gift cards for sale (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

BBB of North Alabama has received a report from a local consumer regarding a pop-up ad offering concert tickets. After clicking on the ad, the consumer received text messages from numbers registered in Brooklyn, NY and Ft. Irwin, CA with instructions to purchase an iTunes gift card for $700 to pay for the concert ticket package, which included VIP passes.

The consumer followed the instructions and gave the seller the code on the iTunes card to pay for the tickets, but never received the tickets and cannot get the $700 back.

iTunes gift cards are just one of the new ways that scammers have chosen to facilitate their scams because they are hard to trace and can be sent almost instantly when you provide the scammer with the code on the card. They have been reported in IRS impersonation scams, lottery and sweepstakes scams, loan and grant scams and more! Beware of anyone asking for payment via iTunes gift cards (or any kind of gift cards), reloadable cards or wire transfer.

Here are tips to help you avoid scams involving iTunes cards:

  • Be extremely careful when searching on the internet. Before clicking on anything, evaluate whether it is an authentic search result or an advertisement. Is it listed as an ad or a “sponsored” result? Do you trust the link?
  • Never pay with an iTunes gift card. If you’re not shopping at the iTunes store, you shouldn’t be paying with an iTunes gift card. Don’t pay with any gift cards, including Amazon gift cards, or reloadable cards. Scammers may even ask you to pay through PayPal.
  • Never pay anyone you don’t know by using a wire transfer like MoneyGram or Western Union. All of these payment methods can be extremely difficult to trace.
  • Pay by credit card when making purchases online in case you need to challenge the charge.
  • Deal only with businesses you know or those you can validate. Be especially suspicious of unfamiliar companies or individuals offering online deals. Check bbb.org to research a company before doing business.
  • Call Apple Support immediately. If you think you may be a victim of this type of scam, call Apple Support right away and explain to them what happened. They may be able to disable the card.
  • Report it to help warn others. If you are targeted by a scam like this, you can file a complaint with the FTC.

Source: BBB North Alabama – Scammers Asking for Payment via iTunes Gift Cards.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.