About Gift Card Scams

Be aware of scams involving App Store & iTunes Gift Cards and Apple Store Gift Cards.

A string of scams are taking place asking people to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, hospital bills, bail money, debt collection and utility bills. The scams are committed using many methods, including gift cards. As the fraudsters are sometimes requesting codes from App Store & iTunes Gift Cards or Apple Store Gift Cards, we want to make sure our customers are aware of these scams.

Regardless of the reason for payment, the scam follows a certain formula: The victim receives a call instilling panic and urgency to make a payment by purchasing App Store & iTunes Gift Cards or Apple Store Gift Cards from the nearest retailer (convenience store, electronics retailer etc.). After the cards have been purchased, the victim is asked to pay by sharing the code(s) on the back of the card with the caller over the phone.

It’s important to know that App Store & iTunes Gift Cards can ONLY be used to purchase goods and services from the iTunes Store, App Store, Apple Books, for an Apple Music subscription or for iCloud storage. Apple Store Gift Cards can ONLY be redeemed on the Apple Online Store and at Apple Retail Stores. If you’ve been approached to use the cards for any other payment, it’s very likely that you have been the target of a scam and should immediately report this to Action Fraud.

Never provide the numbers on the back of the card to someone you do not know. Once those numbers have been provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will probably be spent before you are able to contact Apple or law enforcement. 

Tips to avoid becoming the victim of a scam

  • If you are NOT purchasing an item from Apple — such as from the Apple Store, iTunes Store, App Store, Apple Books, for an Apple Music subscription or iCloud storage — do NOT make a payment with an App Store & iTunes Gift Card or Apple Store Gift Card. There are no other instances in which you’ll be asked to make a payment with either of these gift cards.
  • Do not provide the numbers on the back of the gift card to anyone you don’t know.
  • Immediately report potential scams to Action Fraud.

Contact Apple

If you have any additional questions, or if you’ve been a victim of a scam involving App Store & iTunes Gift Cards or Apple Store Gift Cards, you can contact Apple Support.