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Watch Out for Unauthorized Charges From iTunes

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© Izabela Habur / E+ / Getty

Note: This news story first came out in 2009, but readers continually still face problems with fraudulent charges from iTunes.

A MyFox New York story warns about fraudulent credit card and check card charges that appear to be from iTunes. The first signs of the fraud include charges or pending authorizations from a APL*ITUNES business for $1.00 which might seem to be accurate or an email for gift card receipts that were purchased with your account. The fraud is happening to a wide-variety of people who may or may not have an iTunes account. From the news story:

The high-tech scam has claimed victims from New York to California. At the heart of it all is Apple's wildly popular iTunes. Victims say it starts with an unexpected e-mail for purchases they never made. That's how Rachel Katz from Manhattan found out, "I got two emails thanking me for my purchase."

But by the time victims get the e-mail receipt it's usually too late. The receipts appear to be legitimate, and come from Apple, generated by the user's iTunes account. The receipts show purchases for iTunes electronic gift certificates and charges that hit checking accounts, credit cards or PayPal depending on what the user has linked to his or her iTunes account.

Some of the thieves wait for the $1.00 charge to complete before hitting the account with even higher charges. Sending an initial small charge through first allows the thief to determine whether the account is legitimate.

Many victims of the fraud are having trouble fixing the situation. Neither the banks nor Paypal nor Apple accept ownership. Meanwhile, victims are left without hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

Brett Larson with MyFox recommends deleting your credit card information from iTunes. Instead, he suggests you fund your account with an iTunes gift card. The cards can be purchased from many retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy. Or, you can make iTunes purchases with single-use credit card number available from your credit card company.

I just deleted my credit card information from iTunes by going to Store --> View My Account. I clicked on Edit Payment information and next to "Credit Card" I selected the radio button next to "None."

If you notice an authorization or charges from Apl*itunes, contact your bank immediately. Here are some Tips to Avoid Credit Card Scams and information about disputing inaccurate credit card charges.

Update 7/9/10: iTunes recently announced it would start requiring the credit card security code to be entered for more purchases. They made the decision after one of its app developers, Thuat Nguyen, hacked into accounts and used them to purchase his ebooks. No word on whether the charges will be refunded to cardholders. Apple says 400 accounts were compromised, but another app developer says the number had to be higher for Nguyen's books to make it on the iTunes bestseller list. Source: PCWorld

via Consumerist

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