We Share A Common Thread

Bogus Fees Scam with Music Application Gift Cards

There have been multiple complaints filed with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) claiming online scammers are requiring their victims to pay for bogus fees with music application gift cards. In these cases, fraudsters direct their victims to purchase music application gift cards (i.e. an iTunes gift card) and then reveal the numbers on the back of the card to the fraudster. The fraudster is then able to use the gift cards for their own personal use or sell them to other fraudsters. They will then cut off all communication with the victim or request more gift cards. Music application gift cards are commonly used in fraudulent schemes including auction fraud, employment scams, kidnapping scams, loan fraud, romance scams, ransomware, tax fraud, loan qualification scams and more.

To protect yourself from falling victim, it’s important to understand the signs that you are being approached by a fraudster. In legitimate situations, you will never be required to pay for fees or make other payments with any kind of gift card. Fraudsters usually create a sense of urgency that makes you feel as if you should take action immediately. Before you do, research any information you have on the fraudster, such as phone number or email address. Others may have reported a similar act online. If you know the person is a scammer, hang up immediately. You can also file a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov.

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