Results for man conned into buying iTunes cards

Posted at 11:11 PM, May 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-15 17:52:13-04

A local man conned into buying thousands of dollars worth of iTunes gift cards he will never use now has some of that money back. 

"Thanks to you," Elar Canani told Team 10. "If it weren't for you, we'd still be running around." 

In January, Canani got a call from someone he thought was his grandson in jail. The caller asked for bail in the form of iTunes cards. Canani did not know what iTunes cards were, but thought it would help his relative. He bought the cards and gave the caller the card numbers and pins. By doing that, he unknowingly helped crooks steal his money.

Canani got another call and bought more iTunes cards, then became suspicious. He did not give the crooks the information this time. He contacted Apple, hoping they could give him store credit for the cards. A representative denied his request multiple times.

He contacted Team 10. 

Team 10 followed up with Apple, speaking to a representative about Canani's situation. A couple weeks after the original story aired, Canani's son told Team 10 Apple credited his account. 

"You see what Channel 10 does for the community of San Diego? Thank you!" Canani said. 

Canani plans to buy an Apple computer with the store credit. His son will help him purchase it and teach him how to use it.

"An iMac 27," Canani said, when asked what kind of computer he will buy.

He learned a valuable lesson through the ordeal.

"I [will] just hang up the phone... tell them to call some other time," Canani said, when asked what he will do if he receives a similar call in the future.

He tells other seniors to "be alert."

"There's a lot of crooks... abusing the senior citizens," Canani said.

According to the National Consumers League, the black market for stolen iTunes gift card codes is thriving. Complaints about this particular scam is on the rise. 

Watch the video for the full story.

The San Diego County District Attorney's office posted information about the "grandparent scam."

Here is where you can get information about this scam from the District Attorney's Office.

You can also post complaints about this type of scam on the FTC website.

A study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute shows victims of financial elder abuse lose an estimated $2.9 billion nationwide. Most of the victims are between 80 and 90 years old.

The FBI advises senior citizens:

- Resist the pressure to act quickly.

-Try to contact your grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.

-Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email, especially overseas.