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One thing we know about scammers — they want money, and they want it fast. That’s why, whatever the con they’re running, they usually ask people to pay a certain way. They want to make it easy for themselves to get the money — and nearly impossible for you to get it back.

Their latest method? iTunes gift cards. To convince you to pay, they might pretend to be with the IRS and say you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay back taxes right now. Or pose as a family member or online love interest who needs your help fast. But as soon as you put money on a card and share the code with them, the money’s gone for good.

If you’re not shopping at the iTunes store, you shouldn’t be paying with an iTunes gift card. Other payment methods scammers might ask for include Amazon gift cards, PayPal, reloadable cards like MoneyPak, Reloadit, or Vanilla, or by wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram. Government offices won’t require you to use these payment methods.

If you get targeted by a scam like this, report it to the FTC at

Want to know more about avoiding scams? Read How to Avoid a Scam

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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August 16, 2016

In reply to by Victim79

Hi just got a call from Lending Club as well.sent me $300 wants me to send $200 in iTunes card. Then will recieve $8000. Im assuming a scam right?
FTC Staff
August 16, 2016

In reply to by 40victim

If you’re not shopping at the iTunes store, you shouldn’t be paying with an iTunes gift card.

If you're offered a loan, but you have to send money first, chances are you will lose the money you sent and won't get a loan.

March 01, 2017

In reply to by FTC Staff

I got called by a company who sent me $680 as a verification fee. Next day told me to send it back by buying iTunes gift cards to the tune of $650. I did so, and same day they said "your credit is not high enough" and sent me another $920 to raise my credit score. Said after getting that money back, buying $900 worth of iTunes gift cards (from the money they sent to me), then I would get my loan. Is this a scam? I'm not exactly using my own money--its money they sent me.

March 13, 2017

In reply to by lexilovin

This is the same thing they did to me and said my money would be available at midnight so I'm hoping it isn't a scam.. It was their own Money they used even if it was! I will update soon as I know for sure!
June 03, 2017

In reply to by lexilovin

Hi chances are yes its a scam if they are sending you money and want you to purchase itunes gift cards to send the money back to them and they send more just for more gift cards just to get a loan. Just check into it before you proceed any further with it because you don't want to be held responsible for any bad checks (if they're sending by check). Hope that helps.
June 09, 2017

In reply to by nikki

I just went through the same thing this morning with Lending Club. The Financial accountant name is Jeff Thompson at (772)777-1176. On yesterday $983.79 was sent to me. My bank put a hold on that deposit til June 19, 2017. This morning Jeff wanted me to go to Walmart and load $900 on 18 Itune gift card. The customer service cashier told me right off that it was a scam. I handed her the gift cards back and I walked out the store. I had Jeff from Lending Club on the phone and told him what the walmart customer service cashier said. Jeff wanted me to send the money back as money gram or western union. I informed him that the deposit was placed on hold. Then he said he would call me later after I got off work. Right now I haven't lost any money or spent any money because it's their money. But I did change my bank passwords.
June 09, 2017

In reply to by Precious

Thank you for sharing your experience. Please report it at so it becomes part of the FTC database that's used by investigators nationwide. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We can't address complaints that you discuss in the blog comments.

November 25, 2017

In reply to by lexilovin

did they deposit money in your account and tell you to use it to buy.
Butterfly kisses
December 10, 2018

In reply to by lexilovin

Not sure how they sent you money, but if it was a check you cashed, you are responsible, but the time the funds come back as worthless, you will owe you financial institution a buxket of money. Sorry this happened.
March 13, 2017

In reply to by FTC Staff

I'm not sure if it's a scam but I just got conned into doing this but they sent me 200 and I had to buy 100 card and then my loan would be processed for 5000. I'm still waiting on the call back!
FTC Staff
March 14, 2017

In reply to by Amy85

If someone you don't know offers to send you money, or wants you to send them money, it's a sign of a scam.

Sometimes, when scammers want to move stolen money, they get other people involved. They pretend to hire them, and tell them to open bank accounts and deposit and send money. Or, they start an online "romance" and ask their sweetheart to open a bank account to send money as a favor.

If you give your bank account number and personal information to a scammer, there's a risk of identity theft. The FTC has tips about what to do if information is lost or stolen.

April 03, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

I met a man on line. We had a romance together, I thought. I sent him a iTunes card w 50.$ on it. He wanted a lot more but I didn't have it. I also sent he some nude pictures. Now he wants more money or else. Pictures will be sent to family an friends! What can I do? Anyone help?
June 03, 2018

In reply to by StandingNaked

I meet a man just the other week online..said he was american but worked in nigeria..within a week he said he was in love with me..then today he asked if i could get him itunes cards so he could speak to his daughter..said he was to busy to get them very sceptical..he only got woman who follows him on insta..also only a few photos of himself..hi calles himself Ambrose Morrinsson
FTC Staff
June 04, 2018

In reply to by Ukwoman

You can't use iTunes cards to make phone calls. The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.

July 25, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

Can iTunes card be used to get connection on their iphone? in order for someone to share their location.

FTC Staff
July 25, 2018

In reply to by Littleox_2004

No, you can't use iTunes to get a connection an an iPhone or to share a location. The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.

June 05, 2018

In reply to by Ukwoman

I have been talking to this guy online from Facebook which he sent a friend request we only been talking for 2wks now all of a sudden he mention he needed help an if I can purchased something for him an I responded I dnt kno u like that an I don't feel comfortable gettn sumtn for someone that lives in California an o live in Richmond Va! He mention he had a son an he had to rush him to the hospital an said he have an infection an then mention the doctor needed special tool for his son to put in his head which sounded suspicious! Because what doctors do u kno that don't have all the tools they need!so he mention an iTunes gift card for 25$ an that what he needed an wantd me to send the pin code to him an been bugging me all damn day! I knew something wasn't right I'm keeping this iTunes card I'm glad I look this up! An he calls himself Alexander Adams
July 19, 2018

In reply to by Prettybrown

Does he work at a gym..this guy might be the same guy asking me to do it
July 11, 2018

In reply to by StandingNaked

Just ignore him he doesn't know any of your relatives it's just a threat just believe me
August 10, 2018

In reply to by StandingNaked

had the same thing happen sent nude pictures and all the sudden got threats that this person was going to share the pictures with friends family and even work. nothing was shared that i know of but i'd be careful
April 20, 2017

In reply to by Amy85

It's a scam!! They will findo a way to get all the funds and your account will be negative. I know, because it happened to me. Report it to your bank immediately!!
August 27, 2018

In reply to by Amy85

I did a loan online and loss $2050 bought gift cards apple itunes and I never got a loan and its a scam and fraud i felt very sad loss all my money to the bad people . it was upstart loan their # 214-683-9768 Lisa Smith was her name . I'm so scare about the online now. and also I loss $4500 to another loan call speedy cash 214 618-9897 his name is Keith Wilson he told me to buy google gift cards and I never got loan it was a fraud and scam . i was struggle to pay my bills and crisis its happened to me please help.
FTC Staff
August 27, 2018

In reply to by ktheng65

If someone says they'll give you a loan, but you have to send money first, that is a warning sign -- it's probably a scam. And you will probably lose money. 

You can report the people who took your money to the FTC at The information you give will go into a secure database. The FTC and other law enforcement agencies use that information investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don’t go into the law enforcement database.

January 11, 2018

In reply to by 40victim

How am i borrow money and will pay back in about 5 hours
July 13, 2018

In reply to by 40victim

Someone woman texted me and befriended me and asked me to put 50 on a itunes card for data on her phone. I couldnt help but think how itunes card going to get you data in Turkey. Starting to think its a scam.
October 04, 2016

In reply to by Victim79

OMG, me too,. I'm from Honolulu, Hawaii and it happened to beginning of September 2016 with 1st one from Swift Loan Online -approved for $5000. Western Union 10% of the loan which was $500 (insurance fee) & refundable money will be in account in about 45 min, 45 min came n went. Called them up 1(800) 636-8026 (terry Cowan, Matthew and a lady with no accent claims to be the District Manager)

Now they are telling me that the check came back and needs to go to the release manager and need to pay $499 (release fee) & refundable- nothing. I cussed them out boy - about $1300 from my checking I took out and now about 2 months behind, applying for payday loans (man they eat you dry)

Then another one with Quick Cash 1(626) 888 4662 (Mark brown or Adam) , mobile direct $989 into my checking and then I needed to withdraw the money ASAP and money gram & I did figuring it wasn't my money, second time, AdAm wants to clear out my -500 (cause they have access I'm the fool ), he sent again & I money grammed again.

Then he told me the $7000 will be deposited into my account but I need to do one more transaction - NO WAY I AINT DOING IT,.,, the money is in here $2000.. OMG it's 400 in the morning he calls told him Walmart don't open till 7:00am for money gram and I started at 6 am. I started snappin told him this n that then he tells me to purchase $1400 in iTunes card, after all scanned, my card gets declined. WTF so I called him back, blah, blah blah, I was on the Internet getting information from my bank I answered his call - BOOM he tells me " I ALREADY HAD MADE A COMPLAINT ON YOU THAT U RUN AWAY WITH MY MONEy.. Blah blah blah I went off !! Go Ahead and call your mama, call the president cause I don't give a f*** how dare you look at my profile on FB. When he told me if I ride a motor cycle ii was like ... Huh

Anyway they never got their $2000 are their iTunes cards cause I already had informed my bank. Sick people. And another one wants me to purchase an apple iTunes electric card, put $250 so he can make sure I have funds . Loan approved for $10000. Give the confirmation my conversation number to verify funds in account t. I told this Guy I think. I going pass

victim 64
February 12, 2017

In reply to by Victim79

i got scamed by ghedient systems saying i had been hacked and my wife and my bank acct was not secure when all was over they got us for 2350.00.
September 19, 2017

In reply to by victim 64

Can you narate the story better..I am being scam right now..
February 21, 2017

In reply to by Victim79

so did they actually deposit the funds in your account after you paid them with an ITunes card??? Did you at least get to use the money for the purpose you wanted and now you are short that amount in your account?? I need to know because I am caught up in this and want to know what happens
March 11, 2017

In reply to by Victim79

I just bought 2 $100 iTunes gift cards for lending tree. The deposited 998 in my account and said to get these cards called in then the rest of the funds would be deposited?
May 11, 2017

In reply to by pmartin1951

So I received a call from (832) area: Spring, Texas.. 1(832) 510-7797, but a very suspicious 'Hector Coleman' is supposedly involved with bank by the same name: Capital Bank Financial Corporation... but they are NOT found in Texas! The caller requests #iTunes card as 'verification' ( payment ) for loan processing & they want the PIN! SURPRISE!!!!!
Lalit Thakur
June 02, 2017

In reply to by Victim79

Same thing happened to me yesterday.Fell pray as i am new to US . I thot it is genuine call from 911, then IRS and then Local police number. I paid 4000$ .Its all gone. Is there any way,i can get my money back.
June 09, 2017

In reply to by Lalit Thakur

You could contact Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 and ask them to disable the codes from the cards, if the codes haven't been used yet. If the codes have been used, you can't get your money back.

Please report what happened to the FTC at so it becomes part of the FTC database that's used by investigators nationwide. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We can't address complaints that you discuss in the blog comments.

March 03, 2017

In reply to by Bpn

I think I just got scammed today. Bought $150 in ITunes gift card and gave info to Consumer Loans who then transferred me to the bank manager who said he was with Net Bank in Seattle Washington. He proceeded to tell me he needed $600 in ITunes cards however I would get all of the money back. $15,000 plus the $600 and the $150.00. I did not give the $600. Here are the phone numbers. Katherine at ext 120. 360-819-1153 And she is the one who got the $150.00. Then she verified and then transferred me to her bank manager at 206-596-0810. This is such a rip off. I will report.
November 13, 2018

In reply to by deb1949

My scam was under the guise of an e-mail from Fed-Ex re: order or delivery problem included an order number- pop up came on and they got me for $200. They claimed to be Apple technical dept. They gave me a Gabriel Winston whose Badge number is APL 1106 , my case number and telephone number 855-500-0487ext.760 and they are still answering this phone and scamming more people every second that passes! I know we have the ability to track down this ring of scammers with this telephone number - my god- that is something that our government and it law enforcement can research in minutes!!!! Not to mention tracking the 2 Apple cards they got by tracking the serial numbers on them. Why isn’t anyone doing this instead of looking at me like the idiot I am to have been so stupid- I know better and still fell for it and I expect the system to care about this and I know the information I have and provided is more than enough to get somewhere if the investigated it.
FTC Staff
November 13, 2018

In reply to by karenladykat

You can help law enforcement by reporting these details at The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC uses for investigations.

The information you put here on the blog doesn't go into the secure law enforcement database.

September 10, 2016

In reply to by JessieJ19

My 92 yr old mother was scammed into buying itune cards. She thought it was her grandson calling from jail needing money to bail out.He told her not to tell anyone. She purchased $2000.00 worth of cards. This low-life called her back and had her give the codes to him. Not till 2 days later did she tell the family. So sad! She now has a code word that we have givin' her so if someone phones and she's not sure who it is she's to ask for the code word....they don't give it she hangs up!
September 29, 2016

In reply to by Nancy

Identical scenario just happened to me on 9/28/16.I have reported to Local Sheriff.I finally got suspicious after the same low-life "attorney" wanted another $2000 for another misdemeanor charge. I am ambarrassed to have fell for this scam after age 81, but it was my "grandson" calling...
July 05, 2017

In reply to by JessieJ19

Just got similar call, free money from Western Union if I get ITunes card, put $250.00 then take it to Western union with my Grant ID (they gave me). As soon as I asked if I could research and call back he said sure gave me a bogus number and hung up.
October 05, 2017

In reply to by JessieJ19

Something happened to use but we lost 900.00 to get 7000.00 loan from Cashnetusa, this man claimed to be a loan officer with them very smooth talker, they tried to hit us up for another 100 for moneygram activation fee
July 20, 2017

In reply to by Notscammed

wow! this juat happened to me today. I'm so embarrassed I can't believe that people will use the IRS to threaten people into giving them money. Has anyone gotten their money back after reporting it to FTC ? I just want my $1,050 back
July 21, 2017

In reply to by scammed

If you gave someone the code from an iTunes card and you think it was a scam, call Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 right away (you may have to spend some time on hold). Tell them what happened and ask if they can disable the card. Also, go back to the store that sold you the card and talk with their customer service staff. And if you hear from someone who wants you to send an iTunes card, please tell the FTC.

I tunes scam
December 22, 2017

In reply to by Victim 456

Please be warned I have scamers that contact me all the time 2 have stolen military men's identity,there Nigerian scars and soon ask for I tunes cards,my scamper came clean told me he could no longer do this he felt bad but his family needed food.