Watch out for the iPhone ‘fingerprint scam’ that can hit you with a £100 bill

APPLE users are being warned over a devious scam that tricks you into making a huge payment.

The so-called “fingerprint scam” makes use of Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner, which is available on iPhones and iPads.

One app was shown asking users to hold their fingers on Touch ID for 10 seconds

It was first reported by a Reddit user who wrote: “Don’t download this app. It uses a fingerprint scam to charge you $100.”

The app in question was called Fitness Balance, and is now no longer available to download on the App Store.

It appeared to be a calorie tracking app that let you secure your data by scanning your fingerprint.

To unlock your personal information, you were required to hold your finger down on the Touch ID scanner for 10 seconds.

During the process, a payment pop-up would appear – and be automatically approved by your fingerprint

But halfway through the process, a pop-up would appear asking you to accept a $100 charge.

This type of payment is authenticated using the Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

So the charge is immediately accepting, take a huge chunk out of your bank balance or App Store credit.

Apple appears to have removed the app from the App Store, and strictly forbids this kind of behaviour.

In Apple’s own developer guidelines, it explains: “Apps should never prey on users or attempt to rip-off customers, trick them into making unwanted purchases, force them to share unnecessary data, raise prices in a tricky manner, charge for features or content that are not delivered, or engage in any other manipulative practices within or outside of the app.

And developers who breach those rules risk being banned forever: “If you attempt to cheat the system…your apps will be removed from the store and you will be expelled from the Developer Program.”

Luckily the user who documented the scam didn’t have any App Store credit or a linked bank card – so he wasn’t charged

All apps that make their way onto the App Store are reviewed by Apple.

But sometimes rogue developers can sneak dodgy features into their apps.

As such, it’s worth always being cautious if apps are using suspicious tactics – like asking you to hold your finger on the Touch ID scanner for a long time.

If you think you’re owed a refund due to a scam payment, report your issue here.

It’s worth noting that this scam would be much harder to pull off on an iPhone X, iPhone XR or iPhone XS.

That’s because all of those handsets use Face ID, which scans your face to verify your identity.

When using Face ID to make payments, you have to double click the Lock button twice – which makes it more difficult to execute something like this.

Have you spotted any devious smartphone scams recently? Let us know in the comments!

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