Kingdom Conquest racking up in-app purchase charges?

Many users are complaining that Sega's Massively Multiplayer Online Game, Kingdom Conquest is "stealing" money from their iTunes accounts. Even though the game itself is free, the game has many in app purchases, ranging from $0.99 - $43.99, which since mid-May, users claim these purchases are being made without their consent. If these complaints are to be believed, it seems that even people that didn't download the original app are being effected as well.

Sega has responded to complaints in their forum:

"We are currently investigating this claim as well as some others, but since we have no access to any customers' iTunes account information or transaction histories we highly recommend contacting Apple directly. "

"Allow me to state very clearly that Sega and 'Kingdom Conquest' are not acting maliciously in any way,"

Apple haven't responded yet, however some customers have reported that Apple have offered refunds.

Have you been effected by this? Let us know, and either way remember it's always a good policy to change your passwords regularly and check your download history.

George Lim

Writer for iMore, YouTube Vlogger, and Host for [TEChBrits]

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Kingdom Conquest racking up in-app purchase charges?

110 Comments

My dad had this exact problem the other day. Over $50 in charges and he didn't even have the app installed on his iPhone. Apple was kind enough to credit him back. So, if you've had the same problem I would suggest contacting Apple as soon as possible.

I got hit this month. I'm waiting to hear back from PayPal and Apple. Has anyone been hit more than once by this scam? I've de-authorized all of my Apple devices from iTunes. I don't plan on reinstating them in the near future.

One of my friends downloaded this app for his iPad. When he was asleep they 'stole' €25.00,- claiming he bought something.

If people are getting charged without owning the game, it sounds like some wires are crossed in Cupertino

Happened to me this morning at 7:43 am, the free version downloaded itself while I was sleeping and then proceeded to purchase as many in app purchases as it could until I was cleaned out. I am new to iPhone and this is enough to make me run back to android. What the hell App store/Sega???

Do you have the that 'download to all devices' feature enabled? If so that would explain why it downloaded itself to your phone when whoever hacked into your account purchased it.

Under Settings/Store on the phone? Apparently I did, don't know how I overlooked that setting. Thank you. I feel pretty dumb.

Also, the sega support and forums sections on their website are down completely. I have NO patience for this, not once did anything like this happen on ANY other platform I've used. Really annoyed.

Since Mid-May this has been being reported? Am I reading that right? Why has it not just been pulled from the app store altogether? Sorry for multiple comments, just so full of questions.

Apple's iTunes security has been iffy for quite some time. I got hit once earlier this year with a different app that I had never even heard of let alone purchased. There is no way they 'guessed' my password without some kind of extreme evidence showing up that someone was trying to brute force their way in from an unauthorized location.

"Apple haven’t responded yet, however some customers have reported that Apple have offered refunds."
Offering refunds while at the same time blaming each consumer individually I'm sure. That's what they did to me earlier this year when the same thing happened with another app. Someone hacked in, change the address and purchased this app I'd never heard of and a bunch of in-app content. When they refunded the charge they also said it was a "one-time refund" and "users are responsible for their account security". Sorry Apple, but the user can only do so much to secure their accounts, the rest is on you guys and how well you secure your own systems...

We have been affected too. We have never downloaded this app, nor is it shown as an app in our itunes account. Out of nowhere we suddenly got a charge for £15.49, then £5.49 x 2, then £2.99 then £0.59. On the first occurance (the £15.49) we complained to Apple who did refund the money but said "This is a one-off, as all purchases are final". Then within days and without making any other purchases we got the remaining charges!
I am about to raise with Apple again and we'll see what they do.

This is the essence of an email I have sent to Apple:
"I am very upset that I have received 2 bills from iTunes store amounting to nearly £14 relating to kingdomconquest in-app purchases.
If you look at the reviews for this app it shows it is a scam and Itunes has been hacked in some way. This app is not installed on my ipad and never has been although for some reason it is showing as ready to install. I had a £15 gift card for mothers day which I only redeemed in the last couple of weeks and now all the credit except 44p has disappeared. I am very disappointed, I trusted Apple and have reported this to BBC's Watchdog consumer programme. You must be aware there is a problem, I Googled kingdom conquest scam and evidently I'm one of many so what are Apple doing about this and why is this app still available?
Furthermore I also wish to inform you that my Debit Card information has disappeared from my itunes account. This card had been attached to my account for a long time and was registered and working when I made purchases 2 weeks ago. I did not remove the card from my account so it has been removed without my consent.
I have reset my itunes password, what else should I do? Will you refund me for this theft from my account?
As a new Ipad owner I have lost faith in Apple almost immediately, I hope you are able to restore my faith!"

Exactly the same iTunes fraud just happened to my daughter today. She'd never even hear of Kingdom Conquest. We will also write to BBC Watchdog. Did you get a refund from Apple? Can you remember the email address you used to contact them?

hi, did you get this resolved, same thing happened to me but nobody on here is actually telling they managed to get in touch with apple! can somebody help please!!!!!

This just happened to me today! I do not have the app on my iPhone but i got two in-app charges today for $0.99 and$8.99. Apple better refund me and fix this! Should i change my password and credit card info, would that stop this?

affected! however, i have to say iTunes support dealt with it nicely, money back.. still a headache though!

I've never even heard of this app and yet suddenly I find a receipt for £15.49 in my inbox!! How can we claim this back and stop it from happening again?

in-app purchases are especially insidious on games created for little children - like Sunstorm Interactive's Donut Maker and Cupcake maker. I just got hit with $40 charge for icing, decorations and toppings on "free" Cupcake Maker. And no, my kid does not know my password - which is not required for in-app charges.

Affected. Is there someone to complain to like the attorney general office. Changing my password did nothing to stop this.

I had this happen last month, with a different game,. I raised hell, got refunded 19 of the 3o they stole. I was told it was a one time thing and not to expect a refund in the future. I am hot! I did not get a receipt, I just got this email from Apple alerting me..
Dear -
Your Apple ID, -, was just used to make a purchase in -KingdomConquest- from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID.
If you made this purchase, you can disregard this email. This email was sent as a safeguard designed to protect you against unauthorized purchases.
If you did not make this purchase, we recommend that you go to iforgot.apple.com to change your password, then see Apple ID: Tips for protecting the security of your account for further assistance.
Regards,
Apple
They know it was wrong but still allowed it to happen! I sent them an email back telling them you should have more steps in place for purchases like this, and thank you for allowing my daughters gift card money to be stolen!

I'm affected and this was less than a week of owning a new macbook pro they sent me the $100 app/itunes gift card. This is what happened to it, I had almost $100 and when I checked the next day it was down to less than a dollar two downloads of kingdom conquest that I didn't download or purchase...

Thank you all--I had exactly the same problem which only came to light while I was syncing wifes Ipod to her new iphone and this application/game appeared, so I bounced around about wasting money etc.. checked it out, thought there was no way she would play and then realised that the Ipod had not been connected to itunes for at least two weeks prior to the `purchase' and two weeks since!!!
hopefully this jonny come lately will also get a refund
find it all disturbing and am only thankful that I never linked accounts to Itunes and onyl run on gift cards which limits the exposure and leaves me free not to take such a risk unless the resolve the issue
would think sega might be ontop of this also as these credits must be going somewhere!!!

Affected, at 4am someone went in and spent $43.99. I never downloaded the game or bought it. I did not even use my i-device for any purchases for a while.

I really would like to know what makes this hacking possible? Is it application weakness, wi-fi pw theaft, security flow or other reasons. We should all know so that we could protect ourselves. Btw, Apple said they will issue me credit 'as an exception' after the hacking took place.. but no credit took place.

Affected, 30 July. $35 taken from my balance, reducing it to 56c. I've emailed Apple, and I've had the acknowledgement of my email. I'm awaiting a more detailed response and full refund from Apple.
I have never put my credit card info on iTunes (or anywhere else), and I advise everyone to take their credit card info off their iTunes account, and only use iTunes gift cards as you need to.

Just affected this morning, and I own neither an iPad nor iPhone, so don't have the original app. On the phone now with Apple to see abotu getting the charges reversed.

It just happened to me in a matter of minutes. I was notified by Apple that my address/credit card was updated, then additional emails notifying me that Kingdom Conquest was purchased, then purchases were being made "in" Kingdom Conquest. This is crazy, now I have to spend time to find out how much and to fight the charge!

I've been effected by this. I've deleted the download from my computer so that it doesn't download, but I've now plugged my ipod in twice and have had it pop up to download. I changed my password and everything! It's really starting to piss me off. Luckily I got a refund the first time and it seems to work just deleting it, but I wish it wouldn't come back. Anybody else have this problem?

GREAT.....just had my account emptied. Kingdom conquest..........!
I also had someone from america try to get a repair done using my care plan 3 days ago..! Is it a coincidence?

I was unaware this same thing happened to me until I went to update one of my apps on my iPad and got a message that my apple ID was disabled. In trying to figure out why, I ended up in my acct on my desktop and saw that someone had downloaded, you guessed it, kingdom conquest. To an iPhone, which no one in my household even owns. Apparently an in app purchase had been made, and a few weeks later it shows the money refunded to my acct. ( I guess the net result being my apple ID was disabled). So... App,e refunded the fraudulent charges, without me asking or even notifying them of fraud ( because I didn't even know! I had a gift card balance I hadn't used in forever). If this doesn't show that apple knows exactly what's going on, and that they are somewhat responsible, and trying to keep it secret, i don't know what does. Who refunds money for no reason? Sure it was fraud, but I never called it to their attention, THEY ALREADY KNEW.

Yes I have been affected. I have never even heard of Kingdom Conquest until yesterday when I received billing information telling me I had purchased three of there apps to a total of £14. I don't want them and I am still waiting for an email back from my complaint to tell me what they are doing about it.

this has just hit me today - i dont know the individual purchases until i get an email, but they took £30.55 from £30.89 in my itunes account, plus £1.58 from my bank. i am extremely annoyed and if i am not refunded then i will never use itunes/app store ever again.

I never downloaded this app yet it drained my itunes account of all but four cents! It also was able to delete my banking info from my apple ID account and now I am worried that they have my bank information! This is a huge security breach and needs to be taken care of immediately!

I had this happen to me, but not with Kingdom Conquest...it was some weird Poker game in Japanese.
By the way...if you use this invite code when you register, you will receive a FREE rare monster card!
76yp2c

I just got this email:
I have not purchased anything, so hope I will get a refund from Apple...
Your Apple ID was just used to make a purchase in -KingdomConquest- from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID.
If you made this purchase, you can disregard this email. It was only sent to alert you in case you did not make the purchase yourself.
If you did not make this purchase, we recommend that you go to iforgot.apple.com to change your password, then see Apple ID: Tips for protecting the security of your account for further assistance.

Hi, I had the same email 1.5hrs ago (7Oct2011, 1610h Thai time) and have reported to iTunes, asking for my $45.99 back. Same game, I'd never heard of it, it seemed to be downloaded free from some other device, then an in-app purchase took my iTunes credit. Apple seemed interested in the first instance. Have to wait 24hrs for a response (fair enough). Not sure I had CC details in my account, by they are not there now. Prior to the email advising the purchase, I received an email stating my Name and CC details had been changed on my account. I was surprised by this forum having had so many others have the same problem. Sorry to hear it. (for interest, I have only ever bought 2 apps, and downloaded about 6 ever for my phone.)

Tim again. Have now received an email from Apple (about 15hr response, pretty good considering time zone differences!), basically, refunding amount, disabling account but I can enable through them resetting password, and they noted it was an exception the the T&C that I received refund. No discussion on how it happened, but I will follow that up.

Despite my complaints of unauthorized bills and an offer of a refund, money is still being taken out of my account.
I don't even play these silly games.
I feel like ending my account with iTunes, maybe I'll just close the account, disconnect and have a Pay as you go Phone. It might be a good idea as there are less PQF's around.
Poor Quality Folk whom want to steel from others.
Regards and good luck everyone, Paul
Paul
Paul

I got this email, so I'm now sorted (at least for the time being....)
I'm pleased to let you know that, having reviewed the unauthorized purchases you reported, the iTunes Store has been able to reverse those charges for you. You will see a store credit of £21.67 in three to five business days. You may need to sign out of the iTunes Store and then sign back in before you see the credit in your account. Please note that this is an exception to our sales policy, which is available to you any time here:http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ww/

They took $47.78 (43.99 + tax), and I never bought the app in the 1st place! Thanks Sega, hoping Apple is going to give me a refund or I will be imposing a lifetime personal boycott of Sega, not that I buy their products anyway; I'm not 10 anymore...

These comment are really useful, which email address should be used to send a complaint in order to receive some kind of refund?

My account was broken into in the exact same way--I have never heard of this game, and certainly didn't download it, and even more certainly didn't authorize sixty dollars in in-app purchases! I use a password and even an email address for iTunes that I use for almost nothing else, so I'm not quite sure how this happened. Obviously something fishy is going on here involving this specific app.

I've just had the same thing happen to me and as i was changing my password on my ITunes account, I received another. So they have now taken £30.99 and £17.99. I have changed passwords and also put a monthly limit on the account so that they cannot do this again. I have complained to Apple about the first one but even their website is not helpful in how this works. I have twittered and facebooked about this as clearly it needs more publicity to ensure a more proactive approach by Apple and Sega.

yes! I got the email that it was purchased on a new device. I subsequently received the invoice. I have since changed my password and written to receive a reimbursement. I will post when I have an update.

someone did this to my itunes account yesterday. I'm in UK. Luckily Apple sent me an email saying purchases had been made from a new device, otherwise I wouldn't have known. Found their customer service email and they refunded it within a few hours, but made it sound that this was a 'one-off' and not within their t and c to do so.

My iTunes was hacked on Sunday with almost $100 in charges for this Kingdom Conquest App. Purchase was made through PayPal and they're currently helping me with the problem Hope it's resolved soon because I want my $100 back!!!

I am so pissed about this! I received and email stating the following:
Dear "my name",
Your Apple ID, "my apple id", was just used to make a purchase in -KingdomConquest- from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID.
If you made this purchase, you can disregard this email. It was only sent to alert you in case you did not make the purchase yourself.
If you did not make this purchase, we recommend that you go to iforgot.apple.com to change your password, then see Apple ID: Tips for protecting the security of your account for further assistance.
Regards,
Apple
I called Apple's customer service and they told me that they cannot help me over the phone and had to send an email to have anything done. I just did this 10 minutes ago, so I will update on how long it is going to take for this to get resolved.
What a freaking bummer!!! $32.81 and $1.05 billed to me already. Hopefully, nothing else...
Jennifer

I am so pissed about this! I received and email stating the following:
Dear "my name",
Your Apple ID, "my apple id", was just used to make a purchase in -KingdomConquest- from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID.
If you made this purchase, you can disregard this email. It was only sent to alert you in case you did not make the purchase yourself.
If you did not make this purchase, we recommend that you go to iforgot.apple.com to change your password, then see Apple ID: Tips for protecting the security of your account for further assistance.
Regards,
Apple
I called Apple's customer service and they told me that they cannot help me over the phone and had to send an email to have anything done. I just did this 10 minutes ago, so I will update on how long it is going to take for this to get resolved.
What a freaking bummer!!! $32.81 and $1.05 billed to me already. Hopefully, nothing else...
Jennifer

Not only have I been charged for this Kingdom Conquest to the tune of over $112.00, I have changed my password 3 times and it still continues to charge me. So far, iTunes has refunded all my charges and offered to close my account to prevent further charges but if I close my account, I lose all the things that I download and paid for in the current account and would have to purchase them all again. I'd be more than happy to show SEGA copies of my account and I did not even download the free version of the program.

Today is December 23rd, 2011 --- as far as I have been able to track this issue started around May of this year. My account was hit today for the tune of $105.09 --- stolen because ITunes / Apple won't deal with the problem that has been around FOR SIX STRAIGHT MONTHS!!!! How long does it take to pull your head out of the sand and block the access of a rogue App. company so that this matter is settled? Come'on, Apple --- Do something about this already!

On December 26, 2011 I had a huge in-app purchase made through my iTunes account. This has actually been going on for a year. Apple, for some reason, still allows the game (Kingdom Conquest) to be offered in the app store. Why? If millions of $ worth of fraud is occuring, they should really stop offering the game at all. This is gold farming at its finest.
I had better get my refund...

This just happened to me this morning. I don't even have an iPod/Phone/Pad!! Haven't used my appleID since 2009. I disputed the charge with Paypal and put in a support request at Apple. While I was doing so, another charge was attempted but didn't go through because I cancelled my paypal-itunes "billing agreement." This is nonsense.

Me too! This makes it hard for me to use itunes. I have to cancel authorization on charges also. Apple, do something about this. In there email from support they seemed to blame it on my kids. There are credits being purchased for kingdom conquest even after I changed my password!

I just received an email from itunes that KingdomConquest had been ordered & downloaded through my Paypal account ("on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID") & charged $9.75. I haven't had an itunes account for at least a year & a half & own NO apple products at all, yet I was charged. I did file a dispute with Paypal--well see how that turns out. What a load of crap!

Had this happen to me 1/3/12 at least 20 charges have been made to equate to over $100... sent a nasty email to Apple and The game developer. Wtf is this Apple?! When I hear back and they want to deny its a problem I have plenty of links on THEIR OWN SITE'S FORUMS about this issue! How do they get off thinking that if they ignore it that it will just go away?! They say that iTunes is "secure" but it apparently is most defently NOT!

Someone just mad two $43.99 purchases for this app using my account!!! This is fraud...Why is Apple letting this continue?

Somebody downloaded this application using my account yesterday. I had an email from Apple saying it had been downloaded from a device that was previously not registered to my account. Fortunately, the credit card I have attached to the account is expired.
Is there any way to track the device it was downloaded from? iTunes lists that I have 4 computers authorized to play content purchased with this AppleID, but in the Manage Devices section, it only shows me the 3 valid ones. Thoughts?

I just had this happen to the tune of $93. I guess that Sega is getting more bold. I contacted Apple and they promised a refund. I see a lot of people have posted that Apple promises a refund, but has anyone/everyone received it? Please post back

Just a follow-up. After follow-up emails to Apple because KingdomConquest installed itself a second time, with more charges, Apple has refunded my account within 24 hours. I am very appreciative that they made this happen so quickly. I hope that if enough of us contact Apple they will find a way to shut down or outright ban bad apps like KingdomConquest.

I was hit for $79 by KingdomConquest yesterday. When I called them, Apple immediately refunded a legitimate $18 charge that had nothing to do with this. Now I can't get 'view my account' in iTunes store to open at all under iTunes. Scary.

I see i'm not the only victim. Got hit with $450 worth of charges those MF's! Hope you rot in hell! Luckily, Apple is refunding my money and paypal is looking into it. Warning! If you have a billing agreement with iTunes on your paypal account, shut it down...cancel it. If not, you may see more charges rack up. Good Luck!
P.S. Hackers If I could get a hold of you, it would be two to the chest and one to the head you f*ckers!

Just got hit this morning. Unfortunately it was at 4:00 AM while I was sleeping and when I finally noticed it and changed everything the total billed amount was up to $107.98. It is ridiculous that Apple knows about this (since May 2011) and has yet to remove the app.

This just happened to me yesterday. And if I'm not mistaken, I am the first to be affected by this issue living in Germany!
I first noticed this when I received an eMail from ClickandBuy. I don't know how, but they suspended my account, also iTunes did the same. I really hope now that, although I received a receipt from Apple amounting to around 100 Euros, they don't actually charge me! I wrote to Apple and C&B and I really hope that this app will be taken off the internet.
What kind of person does this, anyway?!?!

Hit me at 3:00 this morning. Over $100. Apple was even nice enough to send me an email, "Your Apple ID was just used to download -KingdomConquest- from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID."
Followed by "Your Apple ID was just used to make a purchase in -KingdomConquest- from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID.
"
If the problem has been going on for so long, why did they allow this download of this app to an unauthorized device? Something very fishy is going on here.

oh crap, moderator, please remove my email adress from the body of my previous message. I shouldn't have left that in. thanks

you guys are fu**ed because your apple id was stolen, and people sold your app id to player who play kingdom conquest, a famous online game. it's not kingdom conquest's fault, so blame yourself, not the game or Apple.

This is still happening -- happened to me yesterday. My apple id is not an email address I use often, the password is 10 digits long and follows all the usual recommendations, it is a unique password that I don't use anywhere else, and I have changed the password within the last 3 months.
What else am I supposed to do?
I have no interest in Kingdom Conquest, but I'm certainly aware that it exists. Apple & Sega need to figure out what the security problem is here and fix it ASAP.

I was also hit this morning around 3 am. I too received the courtesy email from apple yet the charges still went through. Apple said they were crediting my account, I also removed my billing agreement with paypal. Paypal is looking into the issue as well.

I was hit this morning. I don't even use iTunes. I once owned 2 iPods many years ago, but have been boycotting Apple for a couple years now. Now I'm being charged for this. I've never even heard of this game. Sitting on hold with Apple now.

Got notified this morning about this idiotic game. Got charged three times on my paypal for around $45 each. One of the charges was for a Chinese (?) app that I can't even tell you what it is! Called Apple and opened a dispute with Paypal. Hoping this is resolved quickly. Went in and deactivated the link between iTunes store and Paypal and naturally changed every password I could think of. A charge tried to come through again too as I am dealing with this so now Apple is saying that I owe them 11.99 because my funds weren't available through Paypal! Yeah this is what I wanted to do on my Saturday afternoon....

Just happened to me today. $9.96 got through before I stopped another $36.00 from being deducted from my Paypal account. Then it was nearly impossible to navigate the Apple web site to refute the charges. There is also no way to talk to an actual person.

Will the idiot who made post no 78 please read post 79. The problem clearly lies with Apple, not with users.
I was hit 3 days ago and Apple were very quick to refund, but this has totally blown my confidence in using iTunes.
Even more so because some people seem to have been hit again after changeling their password etc.
Has anyone seen an official response from Apple.

We have just been hit by this. I can't believe this problem is from last year and it is still happening! We have never bought the app but it has downloaded today while no one was in, and wiped our account. What is the point of authorising devices if then any devices that are NOT authorised can then download apps and take £? Around £13 taken.

I got hit this morning ($22.05) at 7am with the whole nonsense about it being downloaded to a device not normally associated with my account. This rang a little wonky to me since I only have 1 device set to allow downloads. After I read this article though, and realized that it's not a real download, it's just charges, and that even changing your password does now help, I can't even express how angry and let down I am with apple for allowing this to go on for months.

I got hit yesterday, left me with $0.03 in my account. I'm very glad that iTunes does not have any credit card info on me... I've complained to Apple, I want my money back. I don't want this software!

I got a refund quickly, Apple was great. I've changed my password (again) to a very strong one and deregistered everything except my main desktop where I made sure my antivirus and anti spyware stuff was up to date.
If this happens again that means I have spyware that is avoiding detection. Is there any idea what that vector might be?

This happened to me just yesterday! I have never even heard of the game and I am having trouble reporting this. For the life of me I have not been able to report this. Somebody please fill me in on this. This should not still be happening, and apple needs to do something about this. My account was drained leaving only a single dollar. That's Messed up!

this happened to me today. had my paypal account linked in itunes and two charges were made overnight for $43 each. also got email from apple that app was downloaded on unauthorized device. thanks apple, you are horrible, the fact that this has been going on so long is insane, the fact that you dont provide any support for people that this happens to is just plain wrong, and i have forever changed my opinion about your company.

We just got hit with the same issue and I don't even own an iPad or iPhone. It appears that Apples security isn't very good!!

i lost my ipod ages ago just today got charged for 2 "1200 cp" purchases of 9 dollars each from kingdom conquest and i don't even have this game or any device to play it with let alone purchase credit for it

yes I have been affected. they charged my account yesterday. Thinks like this make me want to close down my itunes account.

The first time you get ripped off and your camera caught it on tape you will be singing the praises of the equipment. The look on their faces when you show them the evidence is worth all the money spent!!!