Scam Victims Pay "Back Taxes" With iTunes Gift Cards

rgMekanic

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Since 2013, over 10,000 victims have paid scammers more than $54 million according to a report from CNBC. The scam reappears every year, with someone from the "IRS" calling to talk about "fraud," "back taxes," and "arrests" to get the victims attention. Once the scammer has the victims attention they are told to pay their "back taxes," and avoid arrest, they need to go purchase an iTunes gift card in the amount, and send them the 16-digit code.

There is definitely a "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" joke in here. Seriously folks, if someone wants you to pay a bill using an iTunes gift card, just laugh at them and tell them you "didn't mean to try and do a fraud!" I wonder if this is an elaborate scheme from Apple.

"Hello, this call is an official note from IRS, the Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filling [sic] a lawsuit on your name because you have tried to do a fraud with the IRS and we are taking illegal [sic] action and we are issuing a legal arrest warrant on your name. To get more information regarding this case file, just call us back on our department number, 708-432-8161."
 

nutzo

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I ask them for the case number and their badge number, and tell them I'll call my bother-in-law who is in charge of the regional IRS office, since I'm sure he won't have any problem clearing this up.....

Just scam them back :)
 

WhoMe

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Never give a sucker an even break. A corollary: use modern tech to bamboozle your victim into giving you money! I imagine a lot of scammers could do this...hey your brother is in jail, please text us the gift card # to bail him out...we are the police so you can believe us! And if he stays in jail much longer he may rat you out.
 

toast0

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I wonder if this is an elaborate scheme from Apple.

I doubt Apple is very happy about this, but iTunes gift cards are basically anonymous digital money. I'm not sure how they get the money out, either reselling the codes at a discount to face value, or by using them to purchase their apps or media -- I'd guess it's probably songs, if they go through an aggregator, there's lots of ways to get into the store, and fraud may not be easy to track through the multiple layers.
 

pcgeekesq

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Ah, the Internet. Making it easier than ever for dumb scammers to find even dumber marks.
 

cdabc123

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how the heck do people fall for sending a gift card of any kind and think its still ligament. im also asummung apple could blacklist anycards they wanted
 

Ur_Mom

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I just can't comprehend how anyone could be this dumb. ITunes gift cards to pay off back taxes...REALLY?

We usually only accept cash. But, the government is running really low on it's music collection on our iPhone's. So, we've decided to fuck the deficit and infrastructure and even our own paychecks, and would like to get paid in iTunes Gift Cards. Thank you. Your government thanks you. :)
 

Gweenz

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These people who fall for this are idiots. They deserve to have their money taken. Perhaps they could learn a bit and stop being so incredibly stupid.

I hate to victim blame, but this is the truth. If you cannot tell by logic and reason that this is a scam you need serious reprogramming. If they were pulled over by police for speeding, and they demanded itunes cards on the spot, would they recognize that as illegitimate?
 

WhoMe

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I doubt Apple is very happy about this, but iTunes gift cards are basically anonymous digital money. I'm not sure how they get the money out, either reselling the codes at a discount to face value, or by using them to purchase their apps or media -- I'd guess it's probably songs, if they go through an aggregator, there's lots of ways to get into the store, and fraud may not be easy to track through the multiple layers.
Actually the scammers aren't that dumb they have to be petty good at what they do to get people to fall for the scam. In this case they play a numbers game (if you get 1% of the people you call to give you $500 and you call 500 people a day, not a bad daily income) and the fear factor and time factor (the officers/agents are in your area now). I'm sure they cash in those cards quick. Once the victims have had a chance to calm down and think a bit, most of 'em probably realize they've been scammed. But remember half the population has in IQ less than 100, though scams/cons of course target smart people too, they are good at what they do it's their job.
 

SticKx911

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These people who fall for this are idiots. They deserve to have their money taken. Perhaps they could learn a bit and stop being so incredibly stupid.
Agreed. Even if all the other info looked right, as soon as they said itunes gift card....how big of a red flag can you get. Wtf does the irs need with iTunes gift cards?
 

CaptNumbNutz

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These people who fall for this are idiots. They deserve to have their money taken. Perhaps they could learn a bit and stop being so incredibly stupid.
I will agree with this to a point. A full grown adult with their full mental faculties should not be falling for this sort of thing. The problem is, a large majority of these people falling for the scams are elderly. While not all elderly people have mental issues, many do. These people are the true victims of these scams. :(
 

funkydmunky

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I ask them for the case number and their badge number, and tell them I'll call my bother-in-law who is in charge of the regional IRS office, since I'm sure he won't have any problem clearing this up.....

Just scam them back :)
Not really scamming them back is it?
In fact your making it very easy on them so they know who isn't worth wasting their time on so they can move on to further targets and make more money.
Play dumb and dick them around as long as possible is the only real recourse I can see.
 

Gigus Fire

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I only pay scammers with bitcoin. I ask them for their private key on their wallets first so i can transfer the monies into there.
 

TwistedAegis

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I will agree with this to a point. A full grown adult with their full mental faculties should not be falling for this sort of thing. The problem is, a large majority of these people falling for the scams are elderly. While not all elderly people have mental issues, many do. These people are the true victims of these scams. :(

All too true, sadly. It isn't just mental issues, but loneliness; they're more likely to chat on the phone and be able to build up a rapport first, then move in for the scam.

What a grand society we've built!
 

TrailRunner

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I've got a friend who nearly fell for this scam last year - the 'go to Walmart and send a person-to-person payment' version. Very intelligent guy, also very gullible and trusting. Myself and a couple others had to talk my friend down from sending out a lot of money that he doesn't have to the scammers. It's very easy to laugh at 'idiots' or 'dumbasses' who fall for this, until it's someone you know.
 

magoo

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My own mother asked me why the IRS called her and told her she was going to get arrested if she didn't call them and pay a big fine.
She was all ready to do it.......

then I reminded her she has an accountant who does her taxes and that the IRS doesn't call you on the phone........
 

umeng2002

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If you grow up not knowing the law or your rights, you're a sucker. Just watch an episode of Cops. Like 99% of the people arrested wave their rights and convict themselves. Idiots.
 

seanreisk

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I fantasize about companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Visa, and maybe a few banks, getting together and pooling a few billion dollars, and then creating a secret team of security agents and former special operations personnel to travel the world and actually find and harm these people, trash their computers, burn their cars, tattoo on their foreheads, force them to surrender their bank accounts and credit cards and send as much money as possible to charities, and then post about it on the internet.

But then I realize I'm fantasizing, and I switch back to Lily Collins.
 

-PK-

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There's a guy who live streams himself pranking these scammers.
His twitch streams are pretty funny. Although, when he tries to confront scammers and have a heart-to-heart discussion it can get a bit too cringey for me. One of the scammers he talked to said he makes about $900/mo and rent in India about $175-$250/mo, so it's hard to guilt trip them out of operating these scams. Especially when they don't have an abundance of jobs available.
 

Garrick

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It would be a "strange" government official who rang you up demanding money. Just hang up and wait for the never arriving letter of demand.
 

funkydmunky

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His twitch streams are pretty funny. Although, when he tries to confront scammers and have a heart-to-heart discussion it can get a bit too cringey for me. One of the scammers he talked to said he makes about $900/mo and rent in India about $175-$250/mo, so it's hard to guilt trip them out of operating these scams. Especially when they don't have an abundance of jobs available.
Very few in the West make 4-5 times their rent monthly. The heartless fuckers are making BANK!
I am sure they all appreciate your sympathy. Tell your Grandma to pass that along when they call.
 

-PK-

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Very few in the West make 4-5 times their rent monthly. The heartless fuckers are making BANK!
I am sure they all appreciate your sympathy. Tell your Grandma to pass that along when they call.
Oh no, I mean that Kitboga is way too friendly to change most scammers morals, but I respect that he has plenty of experience with real clients to never get angry. Imagine a nice and friendly missionary holding a bible, who just wanted to inform EA why loot boxes goes against their morals. Although, I understand his incredibly friendly approach is because new recruits aren't normally told they will be running a scam or they're told the company is contracted by the IRS or Microsoft, but it's uncommon to speak to someone who is that new.
 

DTN107

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The same scammers also ask for Best Buy gift cards and Walmart as well.

But since you guys love to try to take every swing at apple, well go ahead and get your fill.
 

nutzo

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Not really scamming them back is it?
In fact your making it very easy on them so they know who isn't worth wasting their time on so they can move on to further targets and make more money.
Play dumb and dick them around as long as possible is the only real recourse I can see.

I don't have time to waste on them. If this causes them to remove me from their list, good for me :)
 

nutzo

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Although, I understand his incredibly friendly approach is because new recruits aren't normally told they will be running a scam or they're told the company is contracted by the IRS or Microsoft, but it's uncommon to speak to someone who is that new.

We are contracted by the IRS to accept iTunes cards from people who owe back taxes?

These newbies must be just a dumb as the people getting scammed (or they just don't care as long as they get their share).
 

iamjanco

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Messages
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'Get out of jail not quite free' card because the card will you cost you itself:

il_340x270.1350934690_d86p.jpg


...and if that doesn't help with the problem, there's always something like these:

7360032.jpg



limewire-itunes-limewire-filesharing-demotivational-poster-1217555269.jpg


...though that last one might get you in trouble with a different agency.
 
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Wizard220

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How many times has it been said that the IRS will NOT call you. If the IRS wants to contact you then they would send it by certified mail. Mail that you have to sign for. People just do not learn and it's been said a bunch of times.
 

cjcox

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Similar Apple scam going around with GoFundMe pages being setup to pay for medical bills for "walking into glass".
 

spugm1r3

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I fantasize about companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Visa, and maybe a few banks, getting together and pooling a few billion dollars, and then creating a secret team of security agents and former special operations personnel to travel the world and actually find and harm these people, trash their computers, burn their cars, tattoo on their foreheads, force them to surrender their bank accounts and credit cards and send as much money as possible to charities, and then post about it on the internet.

But then I realize I'm fantasizing, and I switch back to Lily Collins.

You should read Neuromancer. Your suggestion might terrify you a little.
 

Verge

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Messages
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I ask them for the case number and their badge number, and tell them I'll call my bother-in-law who is in charge of the regional IRS office, since I'm sure he won't have any problem clearing this up.....

Just scam them back :)

They are in Nigeria, good luck with scamming them back.
 
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