Midlothian residents are being warned not to be scammed into believing they can use iTunes cards to pay for things such as loan fees, HMRC tax bills, utility bills, online shopping or fees to accept a prize.
As part of the scam someone will ask you to make payment for something by going to a local shop to buy an iTunes gift card and then giving them the redemption code. Once they have this number, they either drain the cash on the card or sell it online.
It’s difficult to track where the cash goes once the gift card is used by the scammer. The chances that you’ll get the money back that was on the card are slim.
ITunes cards and vouchers can only be used to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store for Apple products such as app store purchases, iBooks, Apple Music subscriptions or for iCloud storage. Apple has ensured that the wording on the back of iTunes vouchers now warns buyers not to share the code with anyone else.
Councillor Russell Imrie (Lab), cabinet member with responsibility for Trading Standards says: “Fraudsters are getting more sophisticated in terms of how they operate. These criminals are expert in what they do and are very skilled at sounding plausible. Elderly people are especially vulnerable, particularly if being told by cold callers that they have outstanding tax bills. As a result they have been tricked out of thousands of pounds in iTunes vouchers scams across the country. Please warn friends and family of all ages about these scams.”
No reputable lender will ask you to pay loan fees using these vouchers. One such trader that has been asking for this type of payment is Storm Finance Ltd. The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning against this firm.
If you’ve been scammed into paying for something using iTunes vouchers, please call Police Scotland on 101 or Midlothian Trading Standards on 0131 271-3549. You should also report it to Action Fraud.