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Old Aug 12th, 2016, 08:34 PM   #1
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CRA Scam and Itunes...

I'm working out of town and call home. My wife informs me that my son, a student, and herself, fell for a scam, a call supposedly from Revenue Canada, saying that if taxes that were in arrears were not paid, the cops were to come around soon to throw (you) in jail.
Turns out my son does owe some income tax but has been making regular monthly payments. He called the number left with the message and was threatened again. He panicked, told his mum he didn't want to jail, that she had to help him. The scheme works on fear, urgency and threats.
Payment could be made now, my son was told, by buying Itunes cards and giving them the number over the phone.
I know it doesn't make any sense but it seems a lot of people are falling for this, obviously because they are scared and can't think straight.

The amount forked over would have bought a couple of nice MBPros.
As soon as they made the payment, my son came to his senses and checked on-line to find that yes, it is a scam...

Anyhow, what's done is done.
I'm wondering how the crooks use Itunes credits to get cash? Also, if the amount of Itunes card numbers cashed in by anyone individual is continuously high, shouldn't Apple get suspicious that there's a scam happening, especially since this has been going on in the States as well for some times?
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Old Aug 12th, 2016, 10:00 PM   #2
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That is one hell of a scary scam!

However, if you've still got the serials on those iTunes gift cards, it might help you or the mounties to get to the purp:
Turn Unwanted Gift Cards Into Cash - Business Insider

Somewhere, out there on the great Internet, the purp is selling your son's gift cards, probably for 95% of the value!

E.g.: iTunes Codes $25 $50 or $100 Email Delivery | eBay

This kind of scam should surely be traceable! Especially if your son's/wife's phone history still holds the scam phone number used!!!

Report the scam to the mounties in any case.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 12th, 2016, 10:24 PM   #3
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Another example from your southern (US /IRS neighbours):
Scammers posing as IRS asking for iTunes gift cards | abc11.com
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Old Aug 12th, 2016, 10:59 PM   #4
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And yes, there is a hack responding to the profile: the Towson Hack ( iTunes):

The Towson Hack: The mystery of vanishing iTunes credit | Macworld

Dating from 2010 apparently & Apple has not yet retaliated! Nice job...

The Towson hack must lack some info obviously, but might probably be particularly handy to cash iTunes credit with some phished intel.

Never tried it, I'm not a white hat.
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Old Aug 12th, 2016, 11:47 PM   #5
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And completely shut down credit cards:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 12:16 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear that.

The scam has been going around southern Alberta for a while now. First call we rec'd was around March, rec'd a couple more after that, then there was a couple months break & it resumed again early summer.

The RCMP are aware of it locally.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 05:27 AM   #7
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I got one of these calls a few months back as well. I knew full well it was a scam and when the guy threatened to call the RCMP and have me arrested, I told him my next door neighbour was a RCMP member. I asked him to hold while I ran next door and got him so that he could explain to my cop neighbour how I should proceed. He hung up on me and I have not had a repeat.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 10:16 AM   #8
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Sorry to hear bout that. When facing such calls people need to ask themselves some critical questions.

In this case, "Have I received written notification from the CRA that I am in arrears?" "Would the CRA really toss someone in jail who has been making payments?", "If this is legit why are they asking for payments via iTunes cards?"

The answers should help defuse the fear reflex. If you have not received written notification the CRA is extremely unlikely to harass via telephone. Tossing someone in jail is not likely to facilitate payments to the CRA. It is not even remotely possible that the CRA would demand payment via iTunes cards.

At that point tell them you will have to go out to get the cards, get a number where you can call them back with the numbers, then take that number directly to the RCMP or the local constabulary! Believe me they would love to get their hands on one of these low lifes. That said the call probably originates out of country and there is little the RCMP can do.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 05:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eMacMan View Post
Sorry to hear bout that. When facing such calls people need to ask themselves some critical questions.

In this case, "Have I received written notification from the CRA that I am in arrears?" "Would the CRA really toss someone in jail who has been making payments?", "If this is legit why are they asking for payments via iTunes cards?"

The answers should help defuse the fear reflex. If you have not received written notification the CRA is extremely unlikely to harass via telephone. Tossing someone in jail is not likely to facilitate payments to the CRA. It is not even remotely possible that the CRA would demand payment via iTunes cards.

At that point tell them you will have to go out to get the cards, get a number where you can call them back with the numbers, then take that number directly to the RCMP or the local constabulary! Believe me they would love to get their hands on one of these low lifes. That said the call probably originates out of country and there is little the RCMP can do.
i have had calls from CRA, they claimed i owed them money, i simply went to my bank and made a payment, if it is an overpayment - it will be resolved.

unfortunately there are people out there, that live in fear of governments and will do anything just to make it go away.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 06:05 PM   #10
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Re Scam

Thanks all for the advice and input...
I've spoken to Apple-iTunes and they are aware of the scams, obviously.
I don't have the card serial numbers so I didn't push it further but did mention to the rep that anyone scammed this way would probably never want anything to do with iTunes, just out of association to the experience last time they did buy cards.

My wife has no explanation why she went through with it, seeing how ridiculous the demands were, and is ashamed and embarrassed but I told her she has to warn others about it. Again, these low-lifes work on fear, usually of authority, so, as the saying goes, don't be afraid to challenge authority, or perceived authority.


I tried calling Bell to see if they can trace and shut down the 1-855 line but as usual, the phone company has lousy customer service and I could only speak to someone overseas who could only help me with my Bell Mobility service, which I don't have.

I've told my wife that maybe it will be a blessing, since in our and our children's lifetimes, there is bound to be a time when someone will try to scam us out of bigger amounts, and alarm bells should go off from having gone through this once. In this instance,my son gave them what he knows to still owe CRA.
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