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Thousands of stolen iTunes accounts on Chinese auction site

itunes 10 logo
itunes 10 logo

itunes-10-logoAround 50,000 fraudulent iTunes accounts are currently being flogged on a major Chinese auction website.

The accounts, linked to stolen credit cards, are currently for sale on TaoBao, the Chinese equivalent of eBay.

The listings tell buyers that they’re promised temporary access to unlimited downloads from Apple’s library for as little as 1 yuan (10p). The BBC reports that the listings say that buyers can “go after anything they like…software, games, movies, music and so on”. Several listings apparently warn buyers that they can only use the accounts for 12 hours before they’re likely to be shut down.

Details of the auctions first appeared in China’s Global Times, which reported that one seller had admitted to theft.

“Of course these accounts are hacked, otherwise how could they be so cheap?” the seller told the newspaper.

It’s not clear whether the accounts were stolen or set up with illegally obtained personal information. Either way, reselling accounts is banned by iTunes’ terms and conditions.

TaoBao, which has more than 200 million users and is believed to have sold around 400 billion yuan (£38bn) of goods last year, said that it wasn’t obligated to remove the listings as it hadn’t received any direct complaints about the sales.

“We take all reasonable and necessary measures to protect the rights of consumers who use TaoBao, of our sellers and of third-parties,” the company said in a statement. “Until we receive a valid takedown request, we cannot take action.”

Apple declined to comment.