If you are into buying iTunes gift cards online, you may have come across incredibly cheap iTunes gift card offers, especially on eBay. In most cases, the seller emails you an iTunes gift card code which is usually active for a few hours, meaning you have to use it soon or lose it. These codes are sold at substantially deep discounts, as compared to other discounted gift cards sold online, like on GiftCardRescue.com and other secondary gift card sites.
Two questions come to mind regarding these deeply discounted iTunes gift cards. First, there is no public information out there showing that Apple is deeply discounting iTunes gift cards through third party sites. Also, if these iTunes gift card codes are legitimately obtained, why the need to have the buyer use it quickly? One possible reason may be because the gift cards were obtained using stolen credit cards and the seller is afraid that if the card is not used quickly, the authorities may be able to trace the card purchase and have the iTunes card deactivated.
Another possible explanation is that hackers may have been able to crack the algorithm Apple uses to generate iTunes gift cards and are therefore able to generate them at will and offer them at such deep discounts. A recent article from The Tech Herald confirms this suspicion. According to the article, hackers in China have been able to crack the Apple iTunes code generation system and are selling $200 USD iTunes cards for about $17.9 RMB or $2.60 USD. If this is the true, then Apple is doing a very poor job of securing the iTune codes.
Before you buy one of these deeply discounted iTunes gift cards, there are a couple of things to consider. First, people who sell legitimately obtained iTunes gift cards would probably not offer a $200 card for less than $3. Second, Apple may be able to follow the trail on illegally obtained gift cards, since they can tell which iTunes accounts were used to redeem them. You therefore do not want to have your card or iTunes accout deactivated if Apple finds out.
The bottom line is that if the offer is too good to be true, it probably is. Therefore use caution and walk away from any iTunes gift card offer if you feel the card may have been illegally obtained.