Itunes Gift Card Scam Raked In $54M

The tax filing season is when the IRS sees the most activity, with consumers and businesses alike looking to get the troublesome paperwork out of the way. It’s during this season that the IRS watches over their records, which, of course, include the EIN Number of any company in the US, big or small.

Not only because the increased activity demands greater coordination, but it because it also brings out the scammers looking to take advantage of the taxpaying process.

One particular scam, might just lead to a bit of an issue with one EIN Number that’s well worth noting: Apple.

Data from the Treasury Department says that over 10,000 taxpayers have paid scam taxes exceeding $54M in value via phone scams, which have been going on since October 2013, which typically involves gift cards for Apple’s iTunes app. The scam has become so successful recently, that the Treasury Department even went so far as to release an alert regarding the scam, warning taxpayers that any caller asking for funds funneled into iTunes gift cards, or any prepaid card for that matter, is a clear sign of fraudulent activity.

The scam operates via phone, with victims receiving a call asking them for tax payments to be made via iTunes gift cards. Should the victim agree, and give the card’s 16-digit code, the scammer will then take the money from the card and vanish. This is a common tactic, due to the fact that gift cards make it difficult to track down the money after they’re used, and it also makes it difficult for victims to get their cash back, even if they spotted the thread.

The IRS warns that whilst tax filing season is when scamming activity peaks, scammers are, in fact, active all year long, with scammers aggressively pretending to be IRS or government agents threatening incarceration in order to fool their victims.

A release by the Federal Trade Commission reveals that millennials are more common victims of fraud, but while older adults get victimized less, they end up losing more when they do. The FTC also noted that consumers lost far more funds to fraud in 2017, compared to the preceding year.