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Japan’s consumer watchdog probes bogus iTunes charges

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
News Categories: iTunes

Japanese authorities plan to summon Apple officials this week over a rash of complaints from iTunes Store customers who have been billed for charges they never made. AFP reports that at least 95 cases involving five major credit card companies have been filed, in which iTunes customers said they had sometimes been charged thousands of dollars. “We have seen such cases increasing, notably since autumn last year,” said an official with Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency. “The damage in those cases seems to range from a few hundred yen to several hundred thousand yen (from several dollars to several thousand dollars).” The agency official went on to cite the case of one particular woman, “who registered her ID and credit card number on the music download site several years ago but hadn’t used it in recent years received bills of purchases that she wasn’t aware of. The amount of money she was charged over several bills totalled more than 100,000 yen (1,100 dollars).” Japanese industry and communications ministries has also become involved in the probe, and are investigating whether personal data has been stolen.

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