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Tuesday, July 06, 2010, 09:05 am PT (12:05 pm ET)

Apple on iTunes fraud: Developer banned, users should check accounts

Apple on Tuesday publicly responded to recent reports of developer and account fraud, revealing it banned the developer in question from its App Store, and also suggested that customers review their iTunes account for unauthorized transactions.

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that some iTunes account holders were involved in an increasing number of fraud cases, some of which appeared to be orchestrated by developers who allegedly used the accounts to boost their sales ratings. In addition, some others were affected by a widespread hack of user accounts.

A wave of suspicious purchases appeared to boost a single developer named Thuat Nguyen, who took over 40 spots in the top 50 applications on the App Store's books category. Nguyen was the creator of a number of Japanese manga titles, and listed under the name "mycompany" with the website "Home.com."

On Tuesday, Apple told Engadget that Nguyen and his applications were removed from the App Store for violating the developer Program License Agreement. The official statement said that Nguyen was involved in "fraudulent purchase patterns."

"Developers do not receive any iTunes confidential customer data when an app is downloaded," the company said. "If your credit card or iTunes password is stolen and used on iTunes we recommend that you contact your financial institution and inquire about canceling the card and issuing a chargeback for any unauthorized transactions. We also recommendt hat you change your iTunes account password immediately. For more information on best practices for password security visit http://www.apple.com/support/itunes."

iTunes fraud