Gardaí have moved to warn the public, in particular vulnerable older people, about a scam tricking them into purchasing iTunes gift cards.
In recent weeks, a number of people have fallen victim to this scam. In counties Wicklow and Tipperary two individuals fell victim to the scam and purchased in excess of €1,000 of vouchers.
In Co. Galway another victim was scammed out of €2,200. In Dublin, one person attempted to purchase €1,000 in iTunes gift cards at a supermarket, before a member of staff became suspicious and contacted Gardaí.
Gardaí outlined the scam by revealing that, "the victim will receive a phone call or voicemail from the scammer, claiming to be a representative of an organisation which they claim the victim owes money. Upon contact with the victim, the scammers will insist immediate payment is required, suggesting the payment needs to be made by purchasing iTunes gift cards from a retailer."
"In some of these cases, victims are told they are facing criminal charges. Once the victim has purchased these cards, the scammers will ask the victim to share the 16-digit code on the back of the card over the phone. The scammers will then use this code to purchase goods online."
Gardaí are advising people to be vigilant and suspicious of any calls or voicemails from people claiming to represent a company or organisation you may be a customer of. The caller may have some information about you, so don’t trust them just because they use your name or other personal information.
No company will request payment via iTunes or any other online vouchers. If you receive a call like this, end the call and contact Gardaí.
Crime Prevention Advice from Gardaí:
Always say "NO” to unsolicited callers or texters seeking private information about you. Private information includes your name, address, date of birth, family details, bank account numbers, PIN, Passwords.
Independently verify any requests for information and never use the contact details supplied to you by the caller or texter. Independent means independent of the caller or texter.
The caller may already have some information about you so don’t trust them because they use your name or other personal information.
If you are NOT purchasing an item from the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or an Apple Music membership, do NOT make a payment with iTunes Gift Cards. There's no other instance in which you'll be asked to make a payment with an iTunes Gift Card.
An Garda Síochána or your bank will never look for your Banking PIN number or Password or ask you to transfer money, or come to your home to collect your payment card, cheque book or cash.