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Scam Apps Steal Cash via Apple’s Touch ID

Posted on: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Nowadays mobile apps come with a variety of uses: playing games, learning a new hobby, sending money, ordering food, connecting to friends, and even monitor your own health. But all this “free” information can come with a price, with some being more costly than others.

Recently there has been reports of several fitness apps that would invite users to use the Touch ID to access their fitness report. However, after scanning your fingerprint, an in-app purchase pop-up would briefly appear, informing the user that they have been charged anywhere between $90 to $120. And if the user has a credit or debit card directly connected to their Apple account, the transaction will be considered as verified and the system automatically transfers the money to the scammer’s accounts. Even if users opt not to use the Touch ID and decide to proceed to use the app, tapping Continue will only trigger the same Touch ID pop-up and the cycle repeats all over again.

The scam apps named “Fitness Balance app,” and “Calories Tracker app,” were reported to abuse the Touch ID technology in Apple devices. They have all been taken down from the Apple App Store to prevent more users falling victim to this scam. As an additional security feature, Apple have also disabled the Touch ID function in their recently released iPhoneX. Users are now required to double click the side button to verify their payment and complete the transaction.

Despite this, users still need to take extra precautions against these scam apps. Before downloading any app, make sure to read as much information about the app, especially the reviews from other users in the App Store.

Positive reviews can be easily faked. Make sure to read through the latest reviews for any negative comment as these will reveal any issues that you may encounter later on. A simple search online can also reveal any reported incidents or security issues and save your hard earned cash from falling into the wrong hands.

As more and more users are turning to mobile apps to make their lives easier, the more vulnerable we are to scammers who can use these mobile apps to their advantage. Take the necessary precautions and prevent yourself from falling victim to these scam apps.

Take the necessary precautions and prevent yourself from falling victim to these scam apps.

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