OKLAHOMA CITY - Scammers are using iTunes gift cards to help them pull off their shady schemes.
Ricky Woodard was the recent target of one of the brazen cyber-criminals.
He received a phone call last month offering a $6,000 grant.
The caller instructed Woodard to go to a local retailer and put $250 on an iTunes gift card to cover bogus taxes.
Remember, prepaid debit cards are like cash.
All the scammer needs to drain the card is the number on the back.
Woodard knew better.
“They knew my name,” Woodard said. “They knew my address, because they verified that, [and] they had my phone number.”
Woodard worries about seniors, college students and people desperate to pay their bills or feed their children.
Here’s something else to keep in mind:
The scammers aren't using the stolen card codes to download their favorite songs.
They’re selling them on the black market at deep discounts, which lets scammers turn the stolen codes into cash, and there's a chance that money could be helping fund organized crime rings.
“It was definitely the sounding of a phone calling bank,” Woodard said. “You could hear several voices in the background. The voice, you could tell it was being read from a script.”
- If someone asks you to pay using an iTunes gift card, it is a scam.
- If you're a student, you must actually apply for a grant in order to qualify for one, and you'll never have to pay cash for a free government grant.
- Websites like grants.gov and sba.gov help you find and apply for legit federal grants.