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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Music Cards
August 20, 2017

Online Scammers Require Payment Via Music Application Gift Cards

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Online Scammers Require Payment Via Music Application Gift Cards

Online scammers are increasingly asking victims to pay fraudulent fees using music application gift cards as part of multiple fraud schemes. These schemes include auction frauds, employment/opportunity scams, grandparent scams, loan frauds, romance scams, ransomware, tax frauds, and various other online schemes.

In this scam involving music application gift cards, the scammer directs the victim to buy a music application gift cards of varying amounts. Once the victim has purchased the gift cards, the scammer directs the victim to reveal the numbers on the back of the cards and provide them to the scammer via telephone, email, text, or a designated website.

The financial impact to victims can range from fifty to thousands of dollars. IC3 victim complaint data from January through June 2017 involving music application gift cards indicate that these scams have impacted hundreds of victims with reported losses exceeding $6 million.

This scam is also associated with other fraud scams involving victims having won a prize, needing to pay a tax debt, having qualified for a loan, or that a friend or relative is in trouble and needs a payment via music application or other prepaid gift card to assist.

General Online Protection Tips

• Recognize the attempt to scam and cease all communication with the scammer

• Research the subject’s contact information online (e.g., email address, phone number); other individuals have likely posted about the scam online

• Resist the pressure to act quickly. The scammer creates a sense of urgency to produce fear and lure the victim into immediate action

• Never give unknown or unverified persons any personally identifiable information

• Ensure all computer antivirus and security software and malware protection are up to date

• If you receive a pop-up or locked screen, shut down the affected device immediately

• Should a scammer gain access to a device or an account, take precautions to protect your identity. Immediately contact your financial institution(s) to place protection on your account(s), and monitor your account(s) and personal information for suspicious activity

• Always use antivirus software and a firewall. It is important to obtain and use antivirus software and firewalls from reputable companies. It is also important to maintain both of these through automatic update settings

• Enable pop-up blockers. Pop-ups are regularly used by perpetrators of online scams to spread malicious software. To avoid accidental clicks on or within the pop-up, it is best to try to prevent them in the first place

• Be skeptical. Do not click on any emails or attachments you do not recognize, and avoid suspicious websites

• If you receive a pop-up or message alerting you to an infection, immediately disconnect from the Internet to avoid any additional infections or data loss.

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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