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Apple now has a new problem with store pickup for online orders- All details about the scam that costs over $400,000

Security researchers at the Black Hat Asia conference unveiled a cybercrime scheme exploiting Apple Store Online's 'Someone else will pick it up' feature.

By: HT TECH
Updated on: Apr 22 2024, 11:38 IST
Apple's 'Pickup' feature becomes the latest target for tech-savvy fraudsters (AFP)

In a recent revelation at the Black Hat Asia conference, security researchers unveiled a cunning cybercrime scheme exploiting Apple Store Online's 'Someone else will pick it up' feature. This exploit has reportedly netted criminals over $400,000 in just two years.

The 'Pickup' Scam Unveiled

The cybercriminals employ a two-pronged strategy to execute their scam. Initially, they sell Apple products at discounted rates on second-hand online platforms in South Korea, akin to Craigslist or eBay. Once a buyer agrees on a purchase, the criminals use stolen credit card details to buy the actual product from the Apple Store. Instead of shipping the purchased item, they opt for the 'Someone else will pick it up' option. This allows the buyer, unknowingly involved in the scam, to collect the item from an Apple retail store using a government ID and QR code/order number, reported 9to5mac.

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The PoisonedApple Scheme

Named "PoisonedApple" by researchers Gyuyeon Kim and Hyunho Cho, this scam has proven lucrative. With a single iPhone 15, bought at a discounted price of $700 and later sold at its actual price of $800, criminals stand to profit $700, all at the expense of the original credit card owner.

Apple's Stance and Investigation Challenges

In some extreme cases, Apple's reluctance to cooperate has hindered investigations. Despite efforts from victims to report these incidents to card companies and the police, Apple's internal policies have caused significant delays in investigations.

Also read: Upcoming iPad Air tipped to feature a 12.9-inch Mini LED display; Check other upgrades

The Global Scope and Culprits

Though the current scheme targets South Korea and Japan, the researchers suspect the culprits are based in China, given that the phishing web pages were registered through a Chinese ISP. Evidence also suggests mentions in simplified Chinese on dark web forums, indicating potential expansion of this scheme to other regions, including the United States.

In light of these findings, it's essential to remain vigilant when making online purchases and be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Always ensure to verify the authenticity of sellers and platforms, and report any suspicious activities immediately.

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First Published Date: 22 Apr, 11:38 IST
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