COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Across the nation people have reported receiving scam calls that falsely suggest they are in trouble with the IRS. In a recent twist to the old scam, that most people would find ludicrous, cons are asking consumers to pay off their debt in iTunes gift cards.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning consumers to beware of callers who claim to represent the IRS and ask for payment via iTunes gift cards, after 10 Ohioans recently reported losing between $1,000 and $11,500 to the ploy.
The victims were told to purchase iTunes gift cards, often worth $500 each, to resolve the supposed tax problem. After buying the cards, the victims were instructed to read the numbers on the back of the cards over the phone, and assured that this was a more secure method of payment because they were not giving out their credit card or checking information over the phone. Scammers then drained the cards’ funds, making it nearly impossible for the victims to recover the money.
“Obviously the IRS is not going to call you unexpectedly and demand that you pay off tax debt using an iTunes card,” Attorney General DeWine said. “This is not how the IRS operates. But some people are just dumb. We’re encouraging people with sense to talk to friends, family, and neighbors about this.”