Scarborough police warn of iTunes card scam after man fleeced out of ‘thousands’

Scarborough police warn of iTunes card scam after man fleeced out of ‘thousands’

A MAN handed over several thousand dollars worth of iTunes gift cards to a scammer posing as an Australian Tax Office (ATO) representative.

The elderly man from the eastern states had flown to Perth after the death of his brother and was staying in his Glendalough home when he received the call.

The ATO caller demanded the man pay back his late brother’s debt on June 23 in the form of iTunes gift card codes.

Scarborough officer in charge Senior Sergeant Glenn Dowding said the man was organising his brother’s finances and affairs.

“The man was dealing with a family tragedy at the time; I would urge anyone who gets these calls to never give out personal details or money,” he said.

“It is not prudent to release the exact amount whilst the investigation is continuing…it was several thousand dollars.”

Sgt Dowding said departments or companies would never threaten or ask for details over the phone.

“Please go to the scam website to see what scams are active and never give out your details,” he said.

The Department of Commerce ScamNet website said the iTunes gift card codes were “music to scammer’s ears” with several cases throughout Australia.

“Throughout May and June there have been several cases where Australians have bought thousands of dollars worth of iTunes cards to hand over the codes to phone scammers who kept them on the line for hours or called them back repeatedly threatening arrest,” the website said.

“Take our word for it … Government agencies do not accept payment in the form of iTunes cards or any other gift card.”

According to ScamNet, retailers have reported an increase in customers trying to bulk buy gift cards over the phone.

“These customers often find it difficult to accept the cashier or store manager’s advice about it being a scam,” the website said.

Visit ScamNet for more information.