Class action lawsuit claims Apple ‘perpetuates’ iTunes gift card scams

A class-action complaint filed Friday claims that Apple not only enables iTunes gift card scams, which have become increasingly widespread over the past few years, but also profits from them.

 iTunes gift card scams

Mikey Campbell for AppleInsider:

As noted in the complaint, Apple knows where gift cards are purchased, the Apple IDs to which card values are applied and where the funds are spent. The company also holds iTunes gift card payments for approximately 45 days before transferring the money to third-party app makers, a window that could be used to investigate complaints and reverse fraudulent transactions.

The case further claims Apple misrepresents its ability to deal with iTunes gift card scams. The company in its support documentation says, “Once [card] numbers are provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will likely be spent before you are able to contact Apple or law enforcement.” Terms and conditions outlined by the company attempt to limit its liability when cards are lost or stolen. Today’s suit in part challenges those claims.

“Even if that limitation of liability applied by its terms – which it arguably does not – Apple cannot disclaim liability for loss or damage resulting from scams which it intentionally aids, abets, and perpetuates,” the filing reads. “Any attempt by Apple to disclaim liability for loss or damage resulting from iTunes gift card scams would be unconscionable and unenforceable in light of its role in those scams and the profit that it makes and retains from such scams.”

MacDailyNews Take: This is an interesting case, as iTunes gift card scams do exist, yet what can Apple do better, so that the gift cards still work easily for everyone who legitimately gets them, but that minimizes fraud?


  1. They do exist. How else are kids spending thousands of dollars on in-app purchases? We all see this in games we play… the pay-to-win players who seemingly invest $10k to be ahead of the pack. Then we connect with them on Line and FB and realize they’re a fast food worker.

  2. Not sure how the scams work.
    If the scam is, scammer gets you to buy him\her iTunes cards and they use them for legitimate purchases I am not sure how Apple stops that, other than some how blocking the purchased software from being used or Movie from being watched.
    Now if the scam is done buy having the person being scammed buy cards giving them to the scammer and the scammer is using them to buy programs they have submitted to the App Store or in app purchases on these apps on the App Store then they get 70% of the money back in cash from Apple, Apple could stop that pretty easily if they in deed do hold the funds for 45 days and are notified by law enforcement before the 45 days is up.

  3. I guess apple could also put a disclaimer on the card packaging stating these cards can not be used to make payments to any bank or government agency. As most of these scams are said to involve people that think they are paying the IRS using iTunes cards.

    1. You would not think that this would be necessary. What intelligent person thinks you can pay the IRS with an iTunes gift card? I guess this explains why we have a brain dead, drooling moron for a president.

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