Apple Investigating Fraudulent iTunes Charges In Singapore

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It is being reported that several Apple customers across Singapore are noticing unauthorized charges on their iTunes accounts. Channel News Asia explains that Apple is now looking into complaints from customers, who are reportedly out thousands of dollars because of these fraudulent charges.

The customers affected hold accounts at several of the popular banks in Singapore, including UOB, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, or DBS.

While speaking with the news outlet, two of the victims said they lost at least S$7000 ($5,142 USD) each to the unauthorized iTunes purchases. One woman said she only noticed something was wrong when she received a text message from her bank saying she had used over 70 percent of her of her credit limit.

Another woman told the Straits Times that she had not been actively using her iTunes account for at least five years. But somehow, she discovered over $S4,400 ($3,232) deducted in 27 transactions of S$163.43 ($120.06) from her DBS account on July 11.

“I had just got off work to see a movie, and got a message from DBS saying that my card had been blocked,” she said.

After contacting Apple’s customer care, it was confirmed that there were no transactions on her Apple account, but her debit card was used by a separate fraudulent iTunes account.

Apple was quick to terminate the account, and the woman’s bank refunded 20 of the 27 transactions.

Another Apple user said that S$1,049.84 ($770) was taken from his account in multiple transactions before he received a notification from his bank saying that his card was blocked.

“I didn’t call Apple, but I called Maybank to check and they immediately said they would send me a replacement card…I think some loopholes with Apple when linking the card to the iTunes account are causing this exploitation,” he said.

In a statement to Channel News Asia, an Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation representative revealed that there were 58 cases of fraudulent transactions in July alone.

“Upon confirmation that these were fraudulent transactions, we deployed the necessary counter-measures and are currently assisting the affected cardholders via the chargeback process,” said Vincent Tan, head of credit cards at OCBC Bank.

Other banks have become more vigilant as it concerns iTunes purchases. UOB said that it has increased its monitoring of all iTunes spending over recent weeks since the increase in fraudulent activity.

As for Apple, a spokesman, responding to queries made by Channel News Asia said, he would not be commenting on the extent of the issue, but assures that the company is looking into the matter.

He also recommends that users quickly report any issues they might be having with their transactions.

“They will need to sign in using their Apple ID, and will then be able to view purchases and assess veracity before reporting the issue.”