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Sunday, 18 October 2015


Apple Pay is a genuine service that caused a flurry of interest when it was unveiled in Britain in July.

Alongside being accepted in 250,000 shops as a way to pay via your smartphone, Apple customers can shop online using their “digital wallet”.

But scammers have attempted to hijack the trusted brand by claiming it also offers an intermediary service, between buyers and sellers.

Apple customers, including Mr Kerr, are being directed to a fake website. It has copied Apple’s design and even has an online chat facility. But payments go to a fraudster’s personal bank account where any money will be immediately transferred.

"Fraudsters move money through numerous accounts and often abroad, where it is cashed out. This can make it extremely difficult to retrieve."

Katy Worobec, an anti-fraud expert, said: “The number of direct phishing attacks against banks has fallen, but fraudsters are changing their tactics and are now using household brand names.

“Always be wary of any unsolicited emails supposedly coming from a reputable organisation asking you to visit a website – these often claim you need to ‘verify’ or ‘update’ details.”

Mr Kerr was directed to a website that look identical to Apple Pay's own interface but quickly realised it was a scam Photo: Guzelian Ltd

Once you transfer money to a fraudster’s account, this won’t be compensated by your bank, which followed your own instructions.

But it may be able to freeze the funds if the fraud is reported quickly enough.

Action Fraud could not confirm if banks are allowed to attach conditions – including confidentiality clauses – to returning the lost funds.

“Banks will do all they can to retrieve stolen funds,” Ms Worobec said. “However, usually it is not simply a case of a fraudster transferring money from one account to another, but instead they move it very quickly through numerous accounts and often abroad, where it is then transferred to another account. This can make it difficult to retrieve.”

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