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These iOS apps used Touch ID to hit Apple users with $100 payments

Apps promised to track users' fitness, but tricked them with surprise charges

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(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

While Apple’s Touch ID feature provides people with fast and convenient access to their favorite devices, some enterprising scammers have devised a way to use the fingerprint recognition technology to dupe unwitting users into paying for purchases they never meant to make.

As the tech website Engadget reports, some hawk-eyed Reddit users were the first to realize what was going on. They noticed two personal health apps – “Fitness Balance app” and “Calories Tracker app” – relied on Touch ID to tell users their body mass index and how many calories they had consumed.

But what these apps’ users likely didn’t realize – until it was too late, anyway – was that the apps were also using the same feature to prompt users for unexpected transactions. The result was users getting hit almost instantly with bills ranging from $100 to $120, according to WeLiveSecurity.

It’s unclear how these apps made it past the App Store’s notoriously rigorous screening process. Especially because apps that “prey on users or attempt to rip-off customers, (or) trick them into making unwanted purchases” are not allowed under Apple’s code of conduct.

Fortunately, it appears both apps have since been removed from the App Store. But given how easily users fell victim to these scams, you may want to think twice about adding any payment information to a phone or tablet equipped with the fingerprint recognition software.


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