A class-action complaint filed Friday claims that Apple not only enables iTunes gift card scams, which have become increasingly widespread over the past few years, but also profits from them.
As noted in the complaint, Apple knows where gift cards are purchased, the Apple IDs to which card values are applied and where the funds are spent. The company also holds iTunes gift card payments for approximately 45 days before transferring the money to third-party app makers, a window that could be used to investigate complaints and reverse fraudulent transactions.
The case further claims Apple misrepresents its ability to deal with iTunes gift card scams. The company in its support documentation says, “Once [card] numbers are provided to the scammers, the funds on the card will likely be spent before you are able to contact Apple or law enforcement.” Terms and conditions outlined by the company attempt to limit its liability when cards are lost or stolen. Today’s suit in part challenges those claims.
“Even if that limitation of liability applied by its terms – which it arguably does not – Apple cannot disclaim liability for loss or damage resulting from scams which it intentionally aids, abets, and perpetuates,” the filing reads. “Any attempt by Apple to disclaim liability for loss or damage resulting from iTunes gift card scams would be unconscionable and unenforceable in light of its role in those scams and the profit that it makes and retains from such scams.”
MacDailyNews Take: This is an interesting case, as iTunes gift card scams do exist, yet what can Apple do better, so that the gift cards still work easily for everyone who legitimately gets them, but that minimizes fraud?