Apple Gift Cards

In Barrett, et al. v. Apple Inc., et. al., 5:20-cv-04812-EJD (N.D. Cal.), plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit alleging that Apple knowingly allowed scammers to exploit Apple gift cards for their own gain. This deceptive scheme, which has been ongoing since around 2015, has resulted in thousands of vulnerable consumers being deceived into purchasing Apple gift cards under false pretenses. Apple, either through direct notification by victims or by its fraud indicator programs detecting suspicious activity, should have been aware that the funds being spent by scammer accounts were stolen. Despite having the knowledge and capability to prevent many of these transactions, Apple instead facilitated the purchases made by scammers using the stolen gift card funds and profited from them, typically receiving a 30% cut, but in some cases even retaining the full value of the stolen gift cards. Throughout this period, Apple enforced a refund policy that categorically denied refund requests if any portion of an Apple gift card fund had been spent within Apple’s virtual ecosystem. Scott+Scott has been appointed as co-lead counsel, representing a nationwide class of victims who were deceived into purchasing Apple Gift Cards and sharing their codes with scammers. Additionally, plaintiffs represent a contact subclass of consumers who directly contacted Apple regarding the gift card scam and were still denied a refund, in accordance with Apple’s refund policy, or lack thereof.