Grousing about unauthorized charges to iTunes accounts appears to be a problem that's been occurring for weeks, a survey of an Apple discussion forum revealed.
"I found seven different iTunes charges in my email inbox yesterday totaling $291 for apps that I never purchased," "JTurnerBurner" wrote in a forum on July 11. "They were made within a few minutes of each other and I have since canceled my credit card, changed my iTunes password and notified Apple, but have heard nothing back from Apple other than an automatic email response."
Another forum member found Apple's response to his protest about unauthorized charges almost as bad as the charges themselves. "My son made a big fuss about his unauthorized charges and Apple just disabled his iTunes account," "stateofdenial" wrote on July 12. "Now they won't respond and we can't get his account to work any more at all.
"It's bad enough that we are paying the unauthorized charges, but the iPhone is virtually worthless without being able to download apps and music," he added. "So now that my son can't use his iTunes account, I feel like throwing all three phones away."
Other victims of unauthorized charges at the iTunes store included "Sherus," who complained on July 14 of $1,300 in unauthorized charges and "rqueen," who saw $277 illegally charged to his iTunes account.
Complaints about unauthorized charges to PayPal started appearing at the beginning of August. "I just got hacked too today," "adrianTNT" wrote on August 7. "They used the saved PayPal preapproved payments to purchase. Around $50 until I noticed it and canceled the PayPal payment agreement."
Another victim, "printergirl," revealed on August 8, "I had almost $175 in charges show up via PayPal today (through an obscure 2006 "billing agreement" that iTunes hasn't used for years)."
A more recent target, "jimmyzdc," wrote on August 16 that he, too, had had $300 charged to a PayPal account "which I don't even use anymore for legit purchases.
"The PayPal rep I talked to said they had been getting a lot of calls regarding this same issue and they were working very closely with Apple," he added. "The rep said the amount ($300) would be refunded to my PayPal account within the next couple days. I have to commend PayPal on a great job when I called on this issue."
Asked for advice to iTunes users who see unauthorized charges on their accounts, Apple told PCWorld, through a spokesperson:
"iTunes is always working to prevent fraud and enhance password security for all of our users. But if your credit card or iTunes password is stolen and used on iTunes we recommend that you contact your financial institution and inquire about canceling the card and/or issuing a chargeback for any unauthorized transactions. We also recommend that you change your iTunes account password immediately."