Apple gift card scam leads to $1.8 million settlement. Are you eligible for a refund?

Buyers duped in a scam involving Apple gift cards may be owed a slice of a million-dollar settlement.

The tech giant has denied wrongdoing but will pay $1.8 million to settle claims that it failed to secure its popular App Store & iTunes gift cards from fraudsters.

A class-action lawsuit accused Apple of “negligent representation ... regarding the value and security” of the gift cards after scammers stole money off them before the cards were activated, according to the settlement administrator’s website.

When buyers tried to use the affected cards, there was no money.

McClatchy News reached out to Apple for comment Nov. 9 and was awaiting a response.

It’s not clear how many buyers were affected, “but it’s estimated to be in the thousands,” according to the complaint.

The settlement provides a refund for the lost value of stolen App Store & iTunes gift cards, administrators said. Eligible buyers have until Jan. 8, 2024, to file a claim.

Here’s how to know if you qualify:

Who’s eligible?

The settlement includes anyone who bought an Apple App Store & iTunes gift card in the U.S. between March 2018 and July 2020, and whose card was redeemed by “an unknown third-party” prior to activation, the settlement administrator said.

Eligible buyers must not have received a refund or replacement for the stolen cards.

People who purchased App Store & iTunes gift cards in California between May 2017 and February 2018 can also claim a refund, according to the administrator’s website.

How do I file a claim?

Eligible Apple gift card buyers can submit a claim on the settlement website.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your name, home address, email and phone number

  • Proof of purchase, such as a sales receipt, showing the purchase date, purchase price, gift card numbers, etc.

  • Certain attestations regarding the alleged gift card scam

  • Any information needed to complete your preferred method of payment

Settlement administrators said some buyers will also be notified via mail or email.

The deadline to file a claim is Monday, Jan. 8.

How much will I be paid?

Buyers can request a full refund for the lost value of their gift cards — but amounts may vary, according to the administrator’s website.

Final payments will depend on the number of valid claims that are received, officials said. Should the value of the payments to eligible buyers exceed the settlement amount ($1.8 million), individual refunds will be reduced accordingly.

When will I be paid?

A final hearing to approve the terms of the settlement is set for Jan. 17, 2024, according to administrators.

If approved, eligible Apple gift card buyers will be paid “as soon as possible,” barring any appeals or objections.

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