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Apple Facing Increasing Claims of App Store Fraud

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.