Whilst returning some items at Kmart recently, they were happy to issue a refund, with a condition they will not refund onto iTunes gift cards.

Right next to the cash register I noticed a sign “Warning – iTunes Gift Cards: Be aware of scams involving iTunes gift cards”, and I made a comment asking “have you had a few people fall victim to the latest scam have you?” to which the shop assistant replied “yes – and unfortunately too many”.

The helpful shop assistant then told me a story, an elderly lady walked into that same Kmart requesting $700 on iTunes gift cards. As it was an extremely high and unusual amount, it was only fortunate she met with the same shop assistant who asked, “Are you buying this to pay a bill”, to which the customer replied “yes”.

Thankfully, the shop assistant stopped her immediately and said “you’ve been victim to a scam”, and denied her purchase. Well done to the shop assistant turning down $700! The customer was completely horrified, but unfortunately, they weren’t alone, and according to the ACCC, more than $5 million dollars was lost to gift card scams in 2018.

Why you ask?

Scammers get the gift cards as payment, as its easy access for them to quickly sell them onto secondary markets and pocket the cash.

The scammers have become extremely savvy, and have seen various warnings in regards to this scam. They have now started demanding payment, not just in iTunes gift cards, but in other forms of gift cards to get around it.

Victims are also being tricked into filling out survey’s with the promise of receiving gift cards, when all the scammers are doing is extracting personal information such as name, date of birth, address details and credit card or bank numbers.

As Cyber risk is a huge issue for all of us, Citycover thought it was important to share this information. “No legitimate company or government agency will ever ask you to make a payment with any sort of gift card,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Dickard said.

If you are worried about the Cyber risk to your business, please contact Citycover Insurance Brokers on (07) 3270 1500. It’s important to consider what impact a major disruption or interruption would have on your business and how quickly you could recover.