Watch out for scams involving iTunes cards and wired funds

Phone calls, emails and letters asking for people to wire money or send it through iTunes is likely a scam, even if it looks legitimate.

Recently many people have been deceived by these scams because they are very convincing and they carry out their schemes in a very smart and possibly believable way. 

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Here is how these scams work: First someone calls, emails, sends a letter in the mail or posts an ad online promising a loan, government grant or help to get out of debt as long as they're paid with an iTunes card or through wired funds.

In some cases, people are threatened to pay off debt with one of these methods or they will go to jail. Worse yet, sometimes they claim to be from a well-known sweepstakes or lottery promising people money and big prizes if they pay the taxes or delivery with iTunes cards or wired funds. 

Many fall for these scams because they are good at making them look and sound real. They also target elderly, disabled, people with language barriers and those dealing with financial challenges.They feed off of people's emotions of fear or excitement at the possibility of getting money, and they will stop at nothing to scam these people through many channels, including hacking email and social media accounts. 

If you or someone you know has lost money from one of these types of scams, the money may be gone. However, if it's reported to the police, state or federal agencies, and the scammer is caught, they may be able to get restitution. 

If the scammer has not yet used the information shared from the back of an iTunes card, consumers can contact Apple for help. If money was wired prior to last year, a claim can still be filed until the end of May to get money back from a Western Union settlement.

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