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Apple Facing Increasing Claims of App Store Fraud

By - Source: The Telegraph | B 32 comments

Perhaps Siri can help consumers recover lost money.

At the same time the company is facing a class action lawsuit in a U.S. District Court, fraud claims related to Apple's iTunes app store have increased dramatically. In a particularly egregious case, the New York times has reported on the plight of a man named Ryan Matthew Pierson who was billed over 400 dollars in iTunes charges for the virtual currency used in iMobster. Naturally, Pierson has never played the game, and after complaining to Apple was eventually able to recoup the stolen funds. Though his story has a somewhat happy end, it's an example of what appears to be a dangerously ungoverned marketplace. As the Telegraph notes, an Apple forum post called iTunes Store Account Hacked has garnered 1300+ responses, with hundreds of people citing instances of fraud dating back to 2010. 

One user claims that less than 24 hours after resolving a fraud complaint with Apple, his iTunes account was hacked for a second time. This fraud appears to be hurting legitimate developers as well. Bejing-based developer Hoolai Game noticed recently that close to 50 percent of transactions attributed to their apps were caused by fraud. Apple has not made any official comment on the matter yet, but the company has come under increasing scrutiny in the months since Steve Jobs died; this current spike in fraud claims comes on the heels of a recent demand from US congressman Henry Waxman that Apple make public information pertaining to how App store vendors collect data. Meanwhile, the company is also facing allegations of using an underage workforce in their overseas operations. Even so, iPad 3 launched last week with reportedly record-breaking sales, suggesting they'll be crying about such criticism all the way to the bank.

Display 32 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    killerchickens , March 19, 2012 8:12 AM
    Fraud= Every time you buy a product from apple.
    Sarcasm kind of but not really.
  • 23 Hide
    joytech22 , March 19, 2012 7:47 AM
    *Unlinks card details from iTunes*
    Problem solved.

    *Continues happily purchasing songs and albums from Dick Smiths Electronics Music kiosks*

    Joking around aside, I think I remember hearing noobs boast about how much more "secure" Apples products are in comparison to the competition. Just another example that no system is safe, every system has its vulnerabilities. Even if it happens to be the user.. lol.

    I'm actually assuming these "hacks" are nothing more than victims of keyloggers or using their password all over the place and one of those databases got hacked.

    .....Or they used weak-arse encryption and used stuff like polyalphabetic ciphers.
  • 22 Hide
    willard , March 19, 2012 11:48 AM
    Wohoo, the fanboys already found me. How dare somebody point out shitty things Apple has done! Quick, rate him down so we can keep pretending Apple is perfect!

    I think I'll just post some more shitty things Apple has done.

    1. In 2008, Apple issued a DMCA takedown notice to OdioWorks, a nonprofit company that operated a wiki. Their offense? Daring to host articles that showed users how to use third party hardware and software with an iPod. Apple did not back off until the EFF came to OdioWorks' defense, and issued a lawsuit against Apple.

    2. A few months ago, Apple was fined more than a million dollars for violating Italian law and failing to notify customers of the two year warranty they already had on any Apple products and instead attempting to sell all its customers an additional two year warranty, overlapping with the one they already had.

    3. When somebody finally decided to make malware for OS X, Mac Defender, Apple was ready and waiting to not issue any help to its customers whatsoever, even though the process could be easily stopped manually. Even when customers were handing over all their credit card numbers willingly and the majority of calls coming in to Apple were related to Mac Defender, Apple specifically instructed its employees to provide no assistance and not to tell them where they could get assistance. This policy stood for days before Apple decided to actually help its users in any capacity.

    4. When an unofficial biography of Steve Jobs portrayed him in a highly negative light (the official biography has since confirmed that Jobs was more than a bit of an asshole), all of the publishers books (almost entirely educational materials) were banned from Apple stores.

    I might come back later and post more as I remember them. Trying to stay away from Foxconn, since Apple is certainly not the only one who deserves the blame there (I'm looking at you, Microsoft).
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 19, 2012 7:20 AM
    Apple FTMWL!
  • 23 Hide
    joytech22 , March 19, 2012 7:47 AM
    *Unlinks card details from iTunes*
    Problem solved.

    *Continues happily purchasing songs and albums from Dick Smiths Electronics Music kiosks*

    Joking around aside, I think I remember hearing noobs boast about how much more "secure" Apples products are in comparison to the competition. Just another example that no system is safe, every system has its vulnerabilities. Even if it happens to be the user.. lol.

    I'm actually assuming these "hacks" are nothing more than victims of keyloggers or using their password all over the place and one of those databases got hacked.

    .....Or they used weak-arse encryption and used stuff like polyalphabetic ciphers.
  • 9 Hide
    fancarolina , March 19, 2012 8:05 AM
    Apple is announcing what they are doing with their $100 Billion, maybe they can throw some cash at the problem.
  • 27 Hide
    killerchickens , March 19, 2012 8:12 AM
    Fraud= Every time you buy a product from apple.
    Sarcasm kind of but not really.
  • 17 Hide
    Middleman , March 19, 2012 8:45 AM
    Awww... sounds like the honeymoon is over. Like Apple's products, but their business practices lately have left me with a very negative feeling towards the company itself.

    As for the fraud itself, this is why my itunes account it linked to a disposable credit card, and I refill it with iTunes cards anytime I want to buy something, which isn't often. I prefer to buy my music on CD, and then rip it myself at lossless bitrates. Paying essentially the same price for inferior music is ridiculous.
  • 2 Hide
    mrmaia , March 19, 2012 9:46 AM
    Not happy with robbing the customers thru their iCrap prices, now they're outright frauding. Way to go :) 

    Now Apple may want to sustain the common bullshit that says iOS ain't vulnerable to viruses or hacking. Oh wait.
  • 16 Hide
    joytech22 , March 19, 2012 10:13 AM
    RandoKneeArrowGuyLame article, stupid comments. Those accounts were not hacked... either phishing => user is a dumb ars, or password was like "12345" => user is a dumb ars.But haters gonna hate no matter what, facemalm.Apple's only fault, that it allowed so many dumb arses use it's services.


    I don't know how to say how stupid that comment was. Probably not as stupid as this one in reply to you but still.. It was so stupid it made me quote you on how stupid it was so you would become aware how stupid I think it is.
  • -4 Hide
    molo9000 , March 19, 2012 10:25 AM
    Do the account hijackers then resell the virtual currency on ebay or how does this work?

    I don't see why Apple is at fault here. They could implement stricter security measures like Valve does with the Steam Guard thing, but if the attackers can hijack the iTunes account then they can probably hijack the email-account as well.
  • 15 Hide
    del35 , March 19, 2012 10:55 AM
    Quote:
    At the same time the company is facing a class action lawsuit in a U.S. District Court, fraud claims related to Apple's iTunes app store have increased dramatically.


    Apple is synonymous with fraud propaganda deceit and hoodwinking. Publicly degrade Apple and its lies whenever possible and you will be serving the march of technology and open standards. It is the duty of every woman and man who values freedom to fight Apple!

    United we win divided we fall
  • 9 Hide
    vaughn2k , March 19, 2012 10:59 AM
    Buying an Apple product is already a big fraud. A U$120 bill-of-materials +manufacturing cost would sell for U$800.00, thats a rob, and now buying from apple store steals more!
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , March 19, 2012 11:08 AM
    They should focus on patenting the anti-suicide nets over at Foxconn
  • 20 Hide
    willard , March 19, 2012 11:24 AM
    MiddlemanLike Apple's products, but their business practices lately have left me with a very negative feeling towards the company itself.

    Lately? Apple has been like this for many years.

    Your brand new, incredibly expensive phone drops your calls?
    Apple: You're holding it wrong, you dolt.

    You want to install software not approved by Apple on the device you own?
    Apple: Jailbreaking your phone should be a criminal offense (they're gearing up for Round 2 now)

    You want to use Google Voice on your iPhone?
    Apple: This makes our software look inferior, so we'll block it from the App Store and nobody can have it.

    Somebody find one of your device prototypes you left behind?
    Apple: Let's use the San Francisco police to intimidate some poor guy into thinking Apple employees are law enforcement agents so he'll let them search his home.

    Seriously, I could do this all day. Apple is a thoroughly despicable company.
  • 12 Hide
    memadmax , March 19, 2012 11:37 AM
    The bigger they are, the more hacks, virus's, etc etc they are...

    I got a big smirk out of this article because now, all them shiny apple products, with their snotty iUsers are gonna get their just rewards for being little punks....

    Enjoy!
  • 22 Hide
    willard , March 19, 2012 11:48 AM
    Wohoo, the fanboys already found me. How dare somebody point out shitty things Apple has done! Quick, rate him down so we can keep pretending Apple is perfect!

    I think I'll just post some more shitty things Apple has done.

    1. In 2008, Apple issued a DMCA takedown notice to OdioWorks, a nonprofit company that operated a wiki. Their offense? Daring to host articles that showed users how to use third party hardware and software with an iPod. Apple did not back off until the EFF came to OdioWorks' defense, and issued a lawsuit against Apple.

    2. A few months ago, Apple was fined more than a million dollars for violating Italian law and failing to notify customers of the two year warranty they already had on any Apple products and instead attempting to sell all its customers an additional two year warranty, overlapping with the one they already had.

    3. When somebody finally decided to make malware for OS X, Mac Defender, Apple was ready and waiting to not issue any help to its customers whatsoever, even though the process could be easily stopped manually. Even when customers were handing over all their credit card numbers willingly and the majority of calls coming in to Apple were related to Mac Defender, Apple specifically instructed its employees to provide no assistance and not to tell them where they could get assistance. This policy stood for days before Apple decided to actually help its users in any capacity.

    4. When an unofficial biography of Steve Jobs portrayed him in a highly negative light (the official biography has since confirmed that Jobs was more than a bit of an asshole), all of the publishers books (almost entirely educational materials) were banned from Apple stores.

    I might come back later and post more as I remember them. Trying to stay away from Foxconn, since Apple is certainly not the only one who deserves the blame there (I'm looking at you, Microsoft).
  • 8 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 19, 2012 12:51 PM
    One of my classmates boasted about how it was so secure.

    I'm going to print off the source article and shove into her face.
  • 7 Hide
    TheDane , March 19, 2012 12:57 PM
    @Willard: Good researching - please consider setting up a wiki/webpage with documentation & links :-)
  • -5 Hide
    tmshdw , March 19, 2012 1:03 PM
    A Bad DayOne of my classmates boasted about how it was so secure.I'm going to print off the source article and shove into her face.


    Its only as secure as stupid peoples passwords. If an account gets hacked it means an easy to guess password. Apple is not the only victim of this. However, this headline get people to read this article.
  • 1 Hide
    shardey , March 19, 2012 1:50 PM
    vaughn2kBuying an Apple product is already a big fraud. A U$120 bill-of-materials +manufacturing cost would sell for U$800.00, thats a rob, and now buying from apple store steals more!


    Please link me to the product you are describing. Have you noticed that no matter how much their profit is off one product, people will continue to purchase an Apple item. In most cases, they have set the standards for the products they build.

    For example, look at how many tablets have came out since the iPad. The amount of ultra books since the Macbook Air. The HP envy and how much of a clone it is of the unibody Macbook Pro.

    Take your ignorant comments and go elsewhere.
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