The Securities Division of the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office has recently issued a new warning to consumers about scams in which payment is asked for through iTunes gift cards.  I have been warning you about this type of scam for years.  The scam comes in many variations, such as phony demands for payment for income taxes or utility bills, but the essence of the scam is  always that the scammer demands that the victim immediately purchase iTunes gift cards and then provide the 16 digit code on the back of the card in order to avoid some dire consequence.

Scammers demand payment in this fashion because it permits them to readily turn the iTunes gift cards into purchases that can, in turn, be sold and turned into cash.


The simplest way to avoid this scam is to merely remember that iTunes gift cards can only be used to buy goods and services at the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store or for an Apple Music membership.  Therefore any one asking for payment of overdue taxes, overdue utility bills or on behalf of any business or governmental agency by way of iTunes gift cards is a scammer.