Scammers posing as police, attorneys, debt collectors and IRS agents are fabricating false crises and asking the unwary to solve these problems with iTunes gift card payments, according to the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs.
In a typical call, a scammer posing as a police officer tells the person on the other end of the phone that he or she needs to pay bail or court fees for a relative who has been jailed.
Or, they pose as an IRS agent and tell the victim to pay for unpaid taxes to avoid going to jail or being fined.
Another scenario involves imposters passing themselves off as debt collectors and telling graduates that they can avoid arrest for an unpaid student loan by paying it down with an an iTunes card.
"iTunes gift cards have a really high resale value in foreign markets," said Sheryl Harris, Director Cuyahoga County
People across the county have been frightened into sending scammers thousands of dollars' worth of iTunes gift cards. Harris advices consumers to hang up on imposters seeking payment with gift cards.
No legitimate government agency or debt collector will accept payment with an iTunes gift card, or another gift card, said Harris.