The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued an alert about a music application gift card scam (ONLINE SCAMMERS REQUIRE PAYMENT VIA MUSIC APPLICATION GIFT CARDS; http://www.ic3.gov;August 1, 2017). IC3 has been receiving consumer complaints about this scam which is part of multiple fraud schemes.

This is such a complex web of scams that I am including the following description from the IC3 alert:

“[t]hese 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 perpetrator directs the victim to a specific retailer to obtain music application gift cards of varying amounts. Once the victim has purchased the gift cards, the perpetrator directs the victim to reveal the numbers on the back of the cards and provide them to the perpetrator via telephone, email, text, or a designated website. Once the perpetrator obtains the music application gift card data, the perpetrator either continues to request additional funds through more gift card purchases or ceases all communication with the victim. The financial impact to victims can range from hundreds 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.”

I encourage everyone to read the complete IC3 alert. It includes steps to try and avoid becoming a victim of an online scams and/or to take if a consumer believes she is or might be, a scam victim. Consumers can file a complaint about online scam at http://www.ic3.gov. As IC3 notes in all of its online scam alerts, there is no dollar requirement for filing such a complaint; the IC3 does request that the filer provide as much information about the scam as possible.