Fraudulent "iTunes" Alert -- Check Your Charges!

iphone_pirate_itunes

There's no technology that's 100% safe from fraud or social engineering. Those are predators that walk the cyber landscape, and just like hunter gatherers had to watch out for saber-toothed tigers and dire wolves, modern consumers have to keep an eye out for scammers and spammers.

So, it comes as little surprise that Fox New York (via Consumerist) reports iTunes is among the many attack vectors Bad Guys use when committing their fraud.

The crux of this one is bogus charges on your credit card, from $1 to full on $50+ gift card purchases:

Over on GetSatisfaction, there's a long thread about fraudulent iTunes charges, but no clear answer about what's going on. In fact, some people seem to be getting hit with charges on their credit cards from a fake APL*ITUNES business even if they don't have iTunes accounts, while others who do have iTunes accounts receive receipts via email for real gift card purchases that they didn't make.

So stay informed, check your accounts and your credit card charges, and report anything fishy (or phishy).

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Fraudulent "iTunes" Alert -- Check Your Charges!

35 Comments

This is so true alot of times people dont even check it and numerous times ive had this happen to me with things i didnt even buy but i will say everytime i call apple they refund the charges within the day but it still makes me wonder why iam even charged for somthing that is so off the wall and how am i being charged is my number stored and they just use it when ever it makes me really nervous because what if was a big charge ide be extremely upset but this story is very very true

@mattyfresh change your itunes password NOW and turn one click purchases off

If I made lots of purchases I confess I probably wouldn't check them thoroughly. Fortunately, since I rarely buy anything I know this hasn't happened to me yet.. and will know if it does.

With all this online fraud and weirdness, I have been really been thinking of using a prepaid gift card for online purchases and moving money over when I plan to spend it.

@D not only did i change password i also change credit cards and it still happened and the charges are from apple and they admit they dont know how i was charged but they do refund the money and i dont buy a ton of stuff like a few apps a week so its apple billing my card for no reason but think about it in terms of millions if they do thats millions sitting in an acct for a day they get intrest on so i believe apple knows its happening they just act like o it was an accident thats what they have told me a few times but this has happened to me only about 5 times its not like it happens all the time so iam like on the fence on this one

God, I probably have a charge on my card from iTunes a couple times a week. If they're a dollar or two I never look at them too carefully. I guess I should start checking that they match up with all the items I've purchased.

I don't use my credit card with Apple foe purchases. I usually just buy the gift cards, and then redeem them online, it seems a little safer. And yes, turn off one click, no only does it make it more difficult for fraud, it can help you from making a mistake.

I've had iTunes since 2003 and never even heard of "one click" (shows how often I buy anything) :shock:
Is that just an iPhone feature, or computer, or both?

The easy fix for this is to get a prepaid credit card, not gift cards credit card. Hackers have tried to use the prepaid credit card I use for all online shopping, but they have yet to get one penny of mine, because it only has money on it when I put it there to buy something. It's bullet proof, unless the sneak thief happens to live with you and knows exactly when you put money on it. Makes paypal 100% safe also.

Matty - If you changed your billing card and your password and you still had charges, then call your bank and get a new card - and by new card, I mean a card with a totally NEW number. Your card probably was compromised.

I think most people are missing the story. It's people who steal cc number are using iTunes to verify a cc or trade credit for money through gift cards.
I don't get behind report of even why this aired since if apple is mailing you a recipe for something you did not buy. Your account is comprimized. And if you only see it on your credit card statemet then your cc is compromised.
The bottom line it's an online transaction which leaves ip addresses and I think apple has been doing this long enough to log transactions to an ip.
The getsatifaction thread is people who need to learn about the Internet and security.

I was charged and I don't even have an I-tunes account. Don't have anything Apple at all. Still waiting to see if they are going to refund it.

I'm with you Heather. I don't have an Apple anything and was charged. When I called Apple about this itunes charge they told me to go to my bankd and report it as fraud and there was nothing else they could do. The charge by the way came out of my bank account not even on a credit card statement. So beware, it is everywhere!

People need to realize that this has nothing
to do with someone going into your iTunes account or with Apple. Stop going through Apple seeking refunds! Always go through your bank and get a new credit card and sign the fraud papers they send you. Crooks are at fault here.

Yes, Jon and Bugs are right. This is the real story behind iTunes false charges. It has nothing to do with Apple so stop calling them and wait for refunds... if only your iTunes account is compromised, fix is easy enough. But that's not the case, your CC# was stolen and compromised. Don't wait around for refunds while crooks get working on real crooked work when the $1 charge or $50 purchase goes through.http://consumerist.com/5260294/watch-out-for-fraudulent-itunes-purchases...

I have had this happen twice now. The first time, I got a new card, and here we are again, about 2 months later, getting yet another new debit card. I don't have any apple products whatsoever, and they say they cannot link the charge to an account because it was only the preauthorization of $1. Unless you have the money to be put on hold and wait until you get a dispute reconciled with your bank, just get a new credit card. Delete your cookies, clear form history, everything. These hackers can look through all that crap apparently, and they all need to be locked up somewhere and beaten. I hate hackers!

itunes is a rip off! they tried to charge $13.86 to a card i had on file that only had a couple bucks on it, hence the main reason i use this card just for this purpose. why do they need my card on file? so the first chance you are not checking you balance, they charge something to you and then say you ordered it. i happily pay for what i use and this crappy selection for $13.86 is not mine. i tried to follow the way they wanted me to do it and they lied. i had to get my bank fraud department in on this for a resolution. no rest till its resolved.

I just had the same issue. Charges appear on my credit card (totalling $975.00 in 20 charges) but not in my iTunes charge History. Apple claims they are online charges but if this was true then why would they not appear in my charge history. I think Apple applied someone else's charges to my credit card but does not want to admit their error. They refuse to say what the items purchased were. If they claim I purchased them why can't I see an invoice of purchases?

I just received an email notification from itunes of album purchases I did not make - not even in my language. The charge is now showing up on my bank card. I went on to my itunes, and they do not show up as recent purchases. This is not fraudsters trying random numbers. The itunes email had my name, address, phone, (correct email address) in addition to it being the card out of 12 I have that happens to be the one on my itunes account. Whoever did this is either hacking into itunes and getting information, or a screw up/breach internally. Either way, itunes needs to fix their security!!

FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR WASTING SO MUCH OF MY TIME! SECONDLY, FILING A REPORT WITH ITUNES THAT EITHER ITUNES SCREWED UP AND BILLED ME FOR SOMETHING I DID NOT ORDER, OR SOMEONE ELSE HACKED IN TO ITUNES AND USED MY CREDIT CARD INFORMATION! EITHER WAY THIS IS EXTREMELY BAD SECURITY AND BAD BUSINESS. IT TOOK ME CALLING MY BANKS FRAUD DEPARTMENT TO GET ANY RESPONSE FROM YOU, BUT YOU'LL GLADLY TAKE MY CREDIT CARD NUMBER QUICKLY AND DANGLE IT FOR CRIMINALS TO USE AND THEN DENY IT! I HAVE ORDERED A NEW BANK CARD WITH A DIFFERENT NUMBER AND WILL NO LONGER BE USING YOUR SERVICES. YOU ARE HERE BY DISMISSED.

This is not simply credit card fraud! The only fraudulent purchases I had on my credit card involved iTunes. End of story. They suck.

I just had $1,360 deducted from my checkings acct from the apple store on something I didn't even purchase or authorize! Apple stated they had cancelled these (3) in total transactions, (2) of $1 and the third one was $1,358! The next day I checked my acct and the two transactions of $1 had been cancelled but the biggest one of one thousand is still pending and all apple says is I have to wait and speak to my bank in which I already did. This is horrible this has also happened to someone else I know for $3,000! This is really cheap business If they cannot have good security and yet earn millions of dollars! & to even make it better my acct is negative a couple hundred dollars as well as my savings acct being $0.00 and my bank is now charging me overdraft fees! This is absolutely ridiculous

We have just seen the $1 APL*ITUNES charge on our account today. We have nothing to do with Apple, ITunes, or Ipod.
However, for Xmas 2009 we purchased an ITunes gift card from Target for a niece who cashed it in immediately. We used our bank card to pay for it and chose credit. Not debit. And now four months later we see this $1 charge. Thank you all for posting.
My take on this?
IT IS DEFINITELY A PHISHING SCAM!! Might be a person or persons who hacked into and is monitoring banking transactions looking for the word ITunes or gift card. Are they associated with ITunes?
Quite possibly loading up other gift cards and selling them for less, making huge profits. I see these gift cards for sale on Craigslist all the time.
I'm closing my bank account tomorrow. I will only pay cash for any ITunes product in the future or forget them completely. They don't seem interested enough to investigate this issue.
Good Luck to you all.
This is a good link to read and post more. . . thanks to Lee
http://consumerist.com/5260294/watch-out-for-fraudulent-itunes-purchases...

I went to my bank and told them what I discovered.
(I have banked there a long time)
They told what had happened was my bank card number was what the thieves had. Not my account number. They said that this was not uncommon and they would issue new cards. What a relief!!
Incidentally I checked and the $1 charge is gone from my account.
Vigilance has payed off for me. Good luck with your situation.

iTunes is aware of Thefts
April 21, 2010 at about 7:45am unauthorized charges began to show up on my iTunes account. I received an email for 2 purchases I did not make. The first was for $1.00.The “Report a problem” link does not work on the email. I immediately went to the website and reported the unauthorized charges were a problem and charged without my authorization. I finally found a phone number and the rep told me iTunes would be back in touch in 24 hours. I explained to her that we did not have 24 hours because someone was making unauthorized charges now. She walked me through changing my password and deleting my credit card and said someone would contact me. I went back to my bank account and found that I now had SEVEN CHARGES (Keep in mind this was less than an hour after discovering the fraud). I contacted my bank and told them about the fraudulent use of my credit card and we canceled that card. 5 of the charges are just under $50.00 ($45.84, $43.61, $45.54, $42.57, $49.13 . Now I am in Limbo waiting to file a fraud report while iTunes (not some unknown scammer) has my money. iTunes knows this is going on. When someone adds a new computer to an account and begins to make $50 charges as fast as they can an alert should go out automatically. At the very least with this problem so rampant itunes should have an easy to find “report a fraud” link. The entire site is devoted to sales and 1% to customer service

This month I have had 2 fraudulent charges for itunes on my bank statement. The charges were made without a pin number. I have nothing to do with itune. The bank cancelled my visa debit card. I wonder how this could happen.

I just found 6 unauthorized transactions from itunes today. When I finally found a phone number the csr was no help at all. They acted like oh well and you can email itunes and get a response in 24 hours. RIDICULOUS!!

RIDICULOUS!! Now I have spent my whole day talking to the customer service rep, the bank, writing up a letter with all the information to take into the bank. My debit card has been cancelled and I have to wait a week and a half for a new one. What a pain! I also had to sign a affidavit at the bank stating I am not pulling a scam on them. This really needs to be investigated by the authorities. Huge Scam!!!!!!!!!!

I HAVE 2 SEPARATE CHARGES FOR I RUNES WHICH WERE CHARGED WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE. $44.97 AND $55.00. HOW DO I REVERSE THESE? I CANCELLED THE DEBIY CARD AND THESE CHARGES WERE MADE ON NOV.22 2010.

yea this is bullshit this is the second time this happeneds to me, i just barely put in my credit card info with a new email and got billed a bogus charge right after apple sux i knew i shouldnt had entered my info this is the second time

Recently I have had 2 fraudulent charges on my visa debit card from itunes. My bank statement shows APLitunes . The charges were made without a pin number. I called my bank and they are cancelling my card. I have nothing to do with itune, ipod or anything like it. How did this happen?