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Apple gift card scam: How an Australian woman lost $3,500 after starting a new job

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An Australian woman has revealed how she got scammed out of thousands of dollars just days after starting a new job.

Gold Coast woman Jackie took ICT Tac to explain what happened.

WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: Woman reveals $3,500 Apple gift card scam

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She said she received an email from someone claiming to be the boss of the new company where she worked.

The email read: “Please don’t tell anyone and keep it a surprise, but I want you to buy 15 Apple gift cards for staff members for Christmas.”

Jackie replied asking for company credit card details but was told to use hers and she would be refunded after sending the receipts.

“I’m not going to argue – it’s day three of my new job, I’ll do as I’m told, so I bought all 15 Apple gift cards for $1,500,” she said. Explain.

TikTok user Jackie has been scammed out of $3,500 by people claiming to be her boss. Credit: TikTok/Jackkkwhy

The scammer then sent her another email, asking her to buy another 20 cards, bringing her total expenses to $3,500.

Jackie then received an email from her so-called boss asking for her bank details so they could reimburse her.

Sensing that something was wrong, she sent a message to the director of the company.

“I’m just verifying that it was you who sent those emails from your personal Gmail account asking for those Apple gift cards?” she wrote.

He calls you right away and says: No, it wasn’t me. You didn’t buy them, did you?”

While TikTok followers sympathized with Jackie’s plight, many said they would have picked up on the warning signs immediately.

Jackie warned others about the Apple gift card scam. Credit: TikTok/Jackkkwhy

“I would have said I didn’t have enough free funds in my budget to put that kind of money on my card,” one person said.

“$50 would have been pushed for me, three grand is bad luck,” another wrote.

Others have reported experiencing similar scam attempts.

“This exact thing happened to me but I didn’t buy any,” one person said.

“I spoke to my manager because I thought it was weird that the owner emailed me out of hours.”

“I literally got this email today,” wrote another.

“It also looked legit on my iPhone, but when viewing on Outlook, you can see the questionable email address.”

File image of App Store and iTunes gift cards. Credit: NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While some reviewers said there was no way they fell for the attempted scam, others were more sympathetic.

“You are not alone, I work in IT, some people, especially the older generation, don’t even think twice, just do it,” one person wrote.

Another said scammers often look to LinkedIn to find people who have just started new jobs.

“It’s a LinkedIn scam,” advised one TilTok user.

“They scour the site for ‘just started…’ ads and choose a manager on the company’s LinkedIn page to impersonate.”

The Australian government’s Scamwatch website warns consumers that tricking people into buying iTunes gift cards is a common problem.

How to avoid the gift card scam?

1. If you are asked by phone or email to purchase gift cards, always verify that the phone number and email address match company records.

2. Call your employer and check that the request really comes from him, even if you feel a little uncomfortable. Prevention is better than cure.

3. If the gift cards have already been purchased and sent, you may be able to cancel the card by calling Apple Support, unless the scammer has already used the card.

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