Within the past week, my daughter downloaded the free Farm Story app from itunes. On May 7, I received 43 receipts for purchases from itunes. Purchases were for "gems" for Farm Story from Teamlava LLc. Also receive 43 emails from paypal confirming payments totaling over $4900 had been send to itunes. That's forty nine hundred!
In 2 1/2 years I have made a total of $35 in purchases at itunes, and neither paypal nor itunes thought this volume was suspicious.
Immediately contacted my bank which is my primary source of funding for paypal. They referred me to paypal, who in turn referred me to itunes who can only be contacted by email. At that time only $1600 in charges were shown as pending at my bank, so I thought that was the extent of the damage. In later contact with paypal, I was told I had a billing agreement with itunes which meant, simply accessing my itunes account enabled anyone to make purchases up to $5000 a month without ever entering my paypal password. I had been charged $4929.15 by itunes, but $3300 of it was ACH transfers that hadn't hit my bank account yet.
Later discovered that when selecting paypal as payment choice you are directed to paypal where you accept their billing agreement. Simply says you authorize them to make payments to itunes. Gives no dollar amount. Who would charge $5000/month on itunes? (The limit for ebay was $100, 000.) Check your paypal and cancel these agreements.
Itunes has been absolutely no help at all. Basic form letter telling me to contact my bank and change my password. "They understand" my concern, but itunes can't reverse charges. Oh and "have a pleasant day". Further emails accomplished no more than wishing me "pleasant evening" and "a nice weekend".
From reading the web, this is standard itunes response.
This is not a $2.99 fraudulent charge. This is almost $5000 being paid to one app provider Teamlava LLC. When attempting to contact them, I find their website is a blank page, and the link to support leads to an email address. This app was posted on May 2, 2010. In 4 days they were able to make $5000 from me, and who knows how much from other itunes users, yet they are still available for download at itunes. That's how much concern itunes has for it's customers. Not sure what percentage of that $5000 itunes gets, but they are in no hurry to give it up.
Beware when dealing with itunes and Farm Story app.
I'm currently disputing the charges with paypal and my bank. Unfortunately the bank can't do anything until the money is taken out of my account. Seems like if someone could act quickly, this whole process could be stopped and the criminals caught. Itunes knows who they sending payments to, and where the purchases were made from.