Apple has been battling the problem of fraudulent charges since at least 2014. The first sign of a scam is an email notifying iTunes account holders that they have made some purchases that in reality have never occurred. Another warning sign is a pending transaction from APL*ITUNES. The most interesting thing about the scam is that it targets both those who have an iTunes account and those who don’t. The obvious thing to do after noticing a fraudulent charge is to report the issue to Apple and a bank. However, before doing so, it is necessary to confirm that the charge is actually fraudulent. The article details how it can be done. It also lists useful tips for preventing the scam from reoccurring in the future.
What to Check
Start an investigation of the charge’s origin by comparing its details to the purchase history. It can be done by following this link. If a user doesn’t recognize a certain charge, he shouldn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that they are being exploited by scammers. It might be the case that either they or members of their family had signed up for a subscription and had forgotten about it. Some subscriptions such as Apple Music and Apple News are renewed automatically; therefore, users will be regularly charged until they decide to end them. Subscriptions can be canceled and managed in iTunes.
The unrecognized charges might also be coming from another Apple ID. For this reason, it is necessary to check the purchase history across all IDs. By restricting in-app purchases from an ID, it is possible to stop charges. If an Apple device is shared with children or other family members, it is important to turn on restrictions and manage password preferences. The enabling of protection for paid iTunes items will prevent other users of a device from making unauthorized purchases.
Those who have either Touch ID or Face ID are asked to authenticate every download, which obviates the need for setting password preferences.
It should also be remembered that everyone having Apple ID password can perform purchases. Therefore, when users notice unrecognized charges, they are recommended to change their Apple ID password.
What to Do
After confirming that a fraud has indeed taken place, it is necessary to remove credit card information from the iTunes account. By doing so, the user will prevent scammers from making purchases with their card. Afterward, a bank and Apple should be contacted. The sooner it is done, the sooner hackers’ access to the account will be cut off. The resolution of the problem might take some time; therefore, it is worth considering alternative ways of funding the iTunes account. Specifically, it is recommended to use an iTunes gift card. Although fraudsters can gain unauthorized access to the ID and make purchases with the gift card, they will not be able to deplete the credit card balance.
To delete credit card information:
- Launch iTunes;
- Sign in;
- Go to the Account tab and select the View My Account option;
- Click the View Account button;
- On the account information page, click the Edit button;
- Select the None option to the payment method;
- Click the Done