iTunes gift card scams operated through LINE on the rise again

Incidents where scammers operate through mobile messaging platform LINE to trick people into buying iTunes gift cards for them are on the rise again, said the police in a statement on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Incidents where scammers operate through mobile messaging platform LINE to trick people into buying iTunes gift cards for them are on the rise again, said the police in a statement on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Incidents where scammers operate through mobile messaging platform LINE to trick people into buying iTunes gift cards for them are on the rise again, said the police in a statement on Wednesday.

Thirty-three such cases have been reported since September.

Scammers gain access to the victims' LINE account and send out messages to their contact list, asking the victims' friends to purchase iTunes gift cards on their behalf. They ask the victims' friends to send the redemption codes over the mobile messaging application by taking a picture of it while assuring them that they would be paid back.

The ruse was only discovered when the friends called up the victims to verify if they had received the gift cards. By then, the gift cards had been redeemed by the culprits.

The police advise the public never to accede to any request to make purchases or assist in any form of transaction prior to checking on its authenticity, especially if it sounds suspicious or unusual. They are encouraged to alert the account holder when they receive messages of such a nature.

It added that the public should be extra careful in dealings over mobile messaging platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype or LINE.

Users of mobile messaging platforms are reminded to protect their personal information by using strong passwords, to change their passwords regularly and to install anti-virus software on your mobile devices.