News

Pay with iTunes? It’s a scam

By Riverine Herald

IT’S tax time again, which means cyber criminals are also after your money.

And police are warning residents to be on the lookout for scammers pretending to be from organisations like the Australian Taxation Office to scare you into handing over your personal and banking details.

In late March, the ATO sounded the alert on a scam email pretending to be from myGov, Australia’s official online government service platform, asking recipients to fill out a fake application form for a ‘tax refund’.

Scammers are also calling and pretending to be from the ATO demanding immediate payment for alleged ‘outstanding debts’ or risk arrest.

‘‘Terminate the call and ring your financial institution, the ATO or the police,’’ Murray River Police District Inspector Paul Huggett said.

Insp. Huggett said some scammers tried to con their victims into paying for scams with Apple iTunes gift cards.

‘‘Scammers get their victims to pay with iTunes gift cards as they can quickly on-sell them and pocket the money,’’ he said.

‘‘If someone asks you to pay for anything using an iTunes gift card, it’s a scam. There are never any circumstances where a legitimate business or government department will ask for payment this way.’’

Insp. Huggett advised local residents and employees to warn customers who they saw buying multiple iTunes gift cards.

‘‘Have a conversation with them. It might just stop them losing thousands of dollars,’’ he said.

‘‘If you pay with iTunes gift cards it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. Don’t ever believe the scammer, no matter how convincing they sound. Hang up on their calls and delete their emails immediately.’’

People targeted by scammers asking for iTunes gift cards as payment can report the scam to Scamwatch.