Gift card scams are an increasing problem. It is not an issue in dispute anymore but has become a severe cause of concern for marketers worldwide. A report by the Federal Trade Commission reveals:
”The data spotlight shows more than 40,000 consumers were impacted by gift card scams during the first three quarters of 2021, with the practice reaching heights to $51 million and 14,000 reports during Q1 alone. While. median losses for each of the incidents rose to $1,000 in 2021.”
Another organization, Cyber-Forensics.net, a cyber forensics service for online scam victims, analyzed the “data spotlight” only to find that much larger thefts of $5,000 or more resulting from gift card scams now represent more than 8% of financial losses in 2021.
Out of this percentage, apple gift card scams became brazen. Such frauds especially become more active during the holidays as the season is ripe for scammers to go phishing.
Understanding the grave danger, the firm’s chief analyst Timothy Benson investigated how scammers exploit apple gift card schemes?
How Do Apple Gift Card Scams Work?
Fraudsters call people to make payments over the phone (also called vishing) for bail money, hospital bills, utility bills, debt collection, or any other.
The Apple gift card scams are committed using several methods. Fraudsters call individuals and request them to provide the numbers printed on the back of the Apple Gift Card, iTunes Gift Cards, or App Store code.
Regardless of the reason for the payment, the fraudsters follow a particular trick to implement this scam. The scammers call the potential targets, create a fake scenario to steal data, and instill panic and urgency to make a payment through Apple Gift Card. Once the victims have purchased the card, the scammers ask them to share a 12 digit code provided on the back of the gift card over the phone.
At this point, there are a few things that account recovery specialist Peter Thompson working at Cyber-Forensics.net says consumers should take note of:
What do Apple Gift Card users need to know?
Apple Gift Cards are specifically designed to purchase goods and services. Users can make purchases from the Apple store, Apple store apps, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple books, Apple TV, and other Apple properties. Therefore if someone receives a request asking for payment using Apple Gift Cards outside the items described above, they should report the issue.
In addition to this, Apple gift cards cannot be used to make payments for things like hospital bills, electricity bills as these cards are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for cash or any other item.
Other than the information provided above, customers also need to know:
◉ No government agency is interested in asking people for payment with a gift card.
◉ Beware of claims that say gift cards are a safe way to make payments.
◉ Keep the receipt when buying an Apple gift card.
◉ Scrutinize the card before buying and ensure it has no tampering signs.
◉ Never provide the numbers on the back of the gift card to unknown people.
◉ Reach out to Apple support immediately and report the potential scams to the local police department and the trade commission.
Why Do Scammers Ask For a Gift Card?
Fund recovery expert Timothy Benson explains: to receive money via transfers; a scammer needs a legitimate financial account for victims to pay them.
Contrary to this, sending gift cards over the phone does not require undergoing any legal procedure. One doesn't need a secure financial account to redeem these gift cards.
All that a scammer needs is to ask the consumers to scratch the silver protected code and convince the victims to send the code printed on the card.
What To Do if Lost Finances in Apple Gift Card Scams?
◉ Contact Apple store: In case the online scam victims have additional questions regarding the scam, or if they have been victims of an Apple Gift Card scam & iTunes Gift Cards, they can call Apple support services as relevant in their area and say “gift card” when prompted.
◉ Don’t answer any calls from unknown numbers.
◉ File a Police Report: Fortunately, police authorities have the connections to take the matter in the right direction when it comes to legal procedures to follow.
It is usually recommended to hire fund recovery companies as a safety measure. They will investigate and offer consultation on how to recoup lost money. These are dedicated firms meant to ensure that victims follow a legally-accepted procedure to file a case and collect all documents. Cyber-Forensics.net is a well-recognized name in the field.
Cyber-Forensics.net is committed to providing the most accurate fund recovery service for victims of online scams. Cyber-Forensics.net empowers and simplifies the process of tracking down the cyber-criminals and assists in recovering the funds and creating an atmosphere for a negotiated settlement. For more information, please visit https://cyber-forensics.net/.