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How Yahoo Boys Are Running iTunes gift Cards Scam in Nigeria.
There’s no need to look at the article title twice, it was no mistake, you got it right. I am about to divulge one of the most closely guarded secrets on the Internet. Okay, maybe not so “closely guarded”, but a secret nevertheless. You have seen the ads around a lot, some random Nigerian guy claiming he has iTunes gift cards for sale. You know there’s a scam involved, but you just don’t know what it is exactly. Guess what? You are about to discover how yahoo boys are running the iTunes gift card scam. Before we go any further, let’s do a definition of terms
Who Are Yahoo Boys?
Yahoo boys are named after the web service provider, “Yahoo!”. The tag was used to refer to young men that that commit internet scam in Nigeria through the use of Yahoo! Mail (Gmail was not so popular then). Nowadays anyone that commits internet scam as a means of livelihood is referred to as a “yahoo boy”,
Basic Traits of a Yahoo Boys
Yahoo boys have mastered the art of deception. The stop at nothing to acquire the information they need about their victims, including usernames, passwords, credit card data, etc. The know usually good at compose convincing messages to rope in their victims. Most importantly, they have a broken moral compass.
One of their most popular frauds is the “ghost realtor trick”. The scammer pretends to be a realtor and uploads pictures of a luxurious apartment for sale or rent. The victim comes across these pictures and expresses interest in purchasing the apartment. He or she pays a huge amount of money into the realtor’s account only for the realtor to disappear into thin air.
In recent times, yahoo boys have found a new type of scam to get money off their victims. It’s called the iTunes Gift Card scam, you are about to find out how they do it.
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How the iTunes Gift Card Scam Works
Yahoo boys now use the iTunes gift card to get some money out of their victims. Victims have reported paying as much as $31,000 to these scammers. It happens so much that Apple had to post the notice below on its gift card page.
“iTunes Gift Cards are solely for the purchase of goods and services on the iTunes Store and App Store. Should you receive a request for payment using iTunes Gift Cards outside of iTunes and the App Store please report it at ftc.gov/complaint.”
The yahoo boys start by persuade their victims to purchase gift cards. The victims eventually succumb to this persuasion and purchase the iTunes gift card either online or in a store. They then email the code on the card to the yahoo boys, who subsequently drain the whatever value the gift card has, or trade it.
One of the newer methods used involves the scammers impersonating an Internal Revenue Service agent and convincing their victims to pay their taxes over the phone using iTunes gift cards.
Why iTunes Gift Card?
There is actually no rule that says it has to be iTunes gift card. There are many other gift cards out there that can easily serve the same purpose. They include; Amazon gift cards, PayPal, reloadable cards like MoneyPak, Reloadit and Vanilla. Basically, any gift card that has cash-like value. However, analysts have suggested that iTunes gift card is used because of the halo effect associated with the Apple brand. In other words, the more you believe that Apple can do no wrong, the more susceptible you are to this kind of fraud.
Yahoo boys use iTunes Gift card to solve the big challenge of getting paid. The former method of payment (wire service) has gotten more difficult. Victims are heeding warnings and not wiring money so much, law enforcement agencies in Nigeria hang around banks waiting to nab a suspicious fellow receiving money through the wire service. Hence, the iTunes gift card.
Like the wire service, an iTunes payment is pretty difficult to reverse, the movement of the dollars is virtually untraceable, and there is a thriving black market for selling Gift cards in Nigeria where the scammers can easily sell Amazon Gift cards or iTunes Gift Cards.
In conclusion, internet scams come in all shapes and sizes, there is no telling which you are likely to fall for. There are some you can spot from a mile away, and fix to reduce damages to your credit. Unfortunately, iTunes Gift card scam isn’t one of them. As long as you send the card, the damage is already done. It cannot be traced and cannot be reversed.