Apple gift card scam: How Aussie woman lost $3500 days after starting new job | 7NEWS

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

Gold Coast woman Jackie took to TikTok to explain what happened.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Woman reveals $3500 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 said: “Please don’t tell anyone and keep it a surprise, but I want you to purchase 15 Apple gift cards for staff members for Christmas.”

Jackie wrote back asking for details of the company credit card but was told to use her own and she would be reimbursed after sending the receipts.

“I’m not going to argue back – it’s the third day of my new job, I’ll do what I’m told, so I purchased the 15 Apple gift cards for $1500,” she explained.

The scammer then emailed her again asking her to buy another 20 cards, taking her total expenditure to $3500.

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

Sensing something was off, she messaged the company director.

“Just checking that’s you who sent those emails off your personal Gmail asking for those Apple gift cards?” she wrote.

“He calls you straight away and said, ‘No, that wasn’t me. You didn’t buy them, did you?’”

While TikTok followers sympathised with Jackie’s plight, many said they would have picked up the warning signs straight away.

“I would have been saying 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 pushing it for me, three grand, ain’t no chance,” wrote another.

Others said they had experienced 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 strange the owner was emailing me out of hours.”

“I’ve literally had this email today,” wrote another.

“Looked legit on my iPhone as well, but when viewing on Outlook you can see the dodgy email address.”

While some critics said there was no way they would have fallen for the scam attempt, others were more sympathetic.

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

Another said the scammers often looked through LinkedIn to find people who had just started new jobs.

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

“They scan the site for ‘just started at …’ announcements and pick a director from 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 do I avoid the gift card scam?

1. If you are being asked via phone or email to purchase gift cards, always double check to see that the phone number and email address match company records.

2. Call your employer and double-check that the request has actually come from them, even if you feel a little awkward doing so. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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

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