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Apple Pay is already becoming a platform for thieves

Thieves in the US are putting identity theft to good use – using the Apple Pay (opens in new tab) system to purchase high-value goods.

As The Guardian reports (opens in new tab), banks have been caught off guard by the amount of frauds happening and are “scrambling to ensure that better verification and checking systems are put in place to prevent the problem running out of control”.

Even though the system has been introduced less than half a year ago, already some two million Americans are using it.

Apple’s security systems have not been breached, though. Crooks are using new iPhones together with stolen identity information, and then they’re calling banks to ‘provision’ the victim’s card on the phone.

A spokesman for Apple reiterated that the secure mechanism for paying with card details stored on the phone had not been breached.

The Guardian says total losses are already running into millions of dollars.

Apple’s support pages for the service says: “When you add a credit or debit card to Apple Pay… Apple sends the encrypted data, along with other information about your iTunes account activity and device (such as the name of your device, its current location, or if you have a long history of transactions within iTunes) to your bank. Using this information, your bank will determine whether to approve adding your card to Apple Pay.”

As means of confirmation, banks usually ask the last four digits of a person’s social security number (SSN), but that number is often stolen and every year, some 11.5 million Americans (opens in new tab) are victims of identity thefts.

Check out our Apple Pay hub (opens in new tab) for everything that businesses need to know

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.