Here at Perkins Motors we hear about scams of all sorts when it comes to buying a vehicle. We have told you in the past of the many ways Craigslist is leveraged by scammers to swindle decent people looking for a good deal on a vehicle. Often, scammers claim they are overseas and require a wire payment. Sometimes, scammers post photos of one vehicle and deliver a different one after payment – you are probably aware of this by now. However, we just learned of a new scam that really blew us away so we want to ensure you are aware of it: The iTunes Gift Card Scam….yup, you read that right.
Across the country people are posting fake advertisements on Craigslist claiming they are selling a vehicle, when in reality, they are fraudulently using the ad to redeem iTunes gift cards bought by their victims.
It is actually pretty simple…when a victim appears interested in buying the vehicle, officials report that suspects then asks them to pay for it using the iTunes cards (because iTunes gift cards are universally known and trusted while also being purchased all the time by people who enjoy the brand’s offerings). After buying the cards (often amounts in the THOUSANDS), the victim is then instructed to call a fake 1-800 number and give the cards’ redemption codes - according to law enforcement.
This may seem odd but if one WANTS the vehicle bad enough, it isn’t that big of a deal to pay the ‘owner’ aka scammer the way they prefer payment…iTunes cards are available at most grocery stores and countless other places.
You have been warned. If you want to buy a vehicle from Craigslist - be aware. Some reports say up to a billion dollars a year are lost in the USA each year to vehicle scams online.
The Perkins Motors team hears this all the time with customers coming to us for a trusted purchase, after being victims of a dreadful scammer. Don’t let this be YOU. If a deal seems too good online, it may be a scam. If the payment process from an owner to a purchaser (like iTunes) is fishy, it is probably a scam.
IF you believe someone is trying to scam you, call law enforcement right away – call the BBB of Southern Colorado right away so they can inform the public and let US know too so we can help spread the word via social media and our website. Know your options and always be scam-aware as your money is hard earned and we want you to keep it around for the things you want to purchase.
Although we haven’t heard of the iTunes card scam hitting Southern Colorado, yet, there is always that possibility. Scammers love to prey on good people, and we have hundreds of thousands of good neighbors in Colorado Springs – let’s hope law enforcement catches these crooks sooner than later. Meanwhile, be safe out there.
- Crystal Johnston, Director of Marketing.