Google Play cards scammer

I was excited to get a call from another scammer today. “Maxwell” from “Apple” told me that my Apple account had been accessed from Alabama and Texas, and that to solve the problem I needed to install TeamViewer QuickSupport on my iPhone.

If I had installed that app, he would have had me go into my bank account so he could watch and copy down details. So of course I didn’t. He quickly moved to Plan B: “We can verify you at your nearest grocery store. Buy a $100 Google Play card and we will use the 16-digit code to verify you. Don’t worry, I will immediately refund the purchase price back to your account.”

So I “drove” (sound effects: to “Target” (, at which point he upped the ante. “To remove the unsecure connection I need you to buy two cards for $100 each, or one reloadable card for $200.” I pretended to get into a conversation with the cashier where I explained (just speaking my side of the conversation) that I was buying these to unlock my account because I was on the phone with Apple. “This is classified and confidential!” he told me urgently. “Do not tell them what this is for! Simply tell me them that this is for your personal use. Personal use! Otherwise they will charge you a 10% tax which will not be refunded. It is very confidential, trust me.”

Back in the “parking lot” ( again, he told me to scratch off the cards and read the codes to him. I gave him codes from cards I found online that people had posted online last year, and I asked what a Google Play card had to do with my Apple account. “It is going to remove the hackers, not your identity,” he said. “This card will remove the hackers. Give me five minutes.”

A few minutes later, he returned to tell me the codes don’t appear to be valid. “These two cards are not blocking the hackers.” So I told him that I just entered the codes on Google’s redeem page to add them to my Google Play account. This sent him into apoplexy. “Did I tell you to do that? Why did you do that? Now you need to go to another store and buy more cards.”

So next I went to “Walmart” ( and pretended to have another conversation with a cashier who was refusing to sell me the cards because this is a scam. “She is talking about something else,” my friend from “Apple” told me. “Leave the store and go somewhere else.”

The third trip was to “Walgreens” ( “Put your phone in your pocket so they do not see it,” he instructed me this time.

Back in the parking lot, I told him that there had been an error! They only sold me two $50 gift cards for $100 total, not two $100 cards! Could he, somehow, still use them? “Give me the codes and I will see.” A few minutes later. “These codes again do not work,” he said. I told him that’s strange because they worked just fine for me when I added them to my Google account while I was on hold. This sent him into another fit: “Why would you! What kind of an idiot are you?” And then he hung up.

Apparently I’m the kind of idiot with an hour and a half to waste on a Saturday evening, putting on a show for a scammer!

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