What you need to know
- Some developers are receiving emails from people claiming to have bought their apps, but unable to use them.
- They claim Apple won't refund them.
- The end game is to ask for a refund via PayPal or a free app code.
While some people have it in their heads that all developers are living in mansions and driving around in high-end cars, that is very much not the case. Some do very well for themselves, but that is the exception rather than the rule. So when someone targets developers in what seems to be a widespread scam, it hurts.
PCalc developer James Thomson tweeted earlier today to warn developers about a scan he's noticed – and received multiple versions of – that ends up with someone wanting to get either a PayPal refund for an app that won't work or a free App Store code for the app in question.
Scammers claim that they bought an app but aren't able to use it. They also reckon they've reached out to Apple and been refused a refund, so it's on the developer to cough up. But, spoiler, they never bought the app in the first place.
Predictably, James isn't the only one receiving these kinds of messages.
You'd have to imagine that a ton of these emails would need to go out to developers to even begin to make this a worthwhile endeavor for scammers. But never underestimate the extent people will go to just to get something for free.
Don't scam developers, people. Or anyone, for that matter.