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Sega Game Linked to Theft From iTunes Accounts

/ Source: SecurityNewsDaily

The Kingdom may be crumbling for some Apple customers.

Dozens of people are complaining that they've been hit with fraudulent charges related to Sega's "Kingdom Conquest" game for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

The unauthorized charges affect iTunes users who have prepaid cards attached to their accounts as well as those who link credit cards or PayPal numbers, but even some people who've never downloaded the game claim to be victims.

"I did not download this app however I have a $43.99 purchase on my iTunes account. I am furious and cannot reach a real live person at apple to address this problem (shocking). Is this the best apple can do to secure our accounts. THIS IS RIDICULOUS!" reads one of the angry customer reviews on the iTunes app page.

The issue was first reported by the technology news site BetaNews.

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"Kingdom Conquest" is a multiplayer role-playing game similar to "World of Warcraft." The app is free, but players use the iTunes Store to purchase credits that are used to add trinkets, abilities and features within the game.

An Apple Support Communities page called " iTunes store account hacked " has 24 pages of similar complaints, with many of the most recent being about "Kingdom Conquest."  Many customers remarked that they had received little or no help from Apple.

Sega urged customers to contact Apple, the creator of iTunes. Apple did not return phone calls and emails from SecurityNewsDaily.

The customer reviews reflect people's growing frustrations with Apple.

The comments include: "This app took 42$ from my account everybody report to apple."

"They got me too. $80 in gift cards and I'm down to .53 cents. Still waiting to hear back from apple," a June 2 post reads.

Sega responded to the complaints in an online forum.

"We are currently investigating this claim as well as some others, but since we have no access to any customers' iTunes account information or transaction histories we highly recommend contacting Apple directly," a spokesman for the Japanese game publisher said.

"Allow me to state very clearly that Sega and 'Kingdom Conquest' are not acting maliciously in any way," the Sega representative added. "It is in no way possible for this game to charge an iTunes account without someone installing the app, logging into that iTunes account with valid credentials and then choosing to make a purchase."

Hijacked iTunes accounts have been a problem for several months, but Apple has made no public comment about the issue.

Because of that, it's not clear how to avoid becoming a victim of iTunes fraud. But you can limit your risk by unlinking any credit cards or PayPal accounts you may have linked to your iTunes account.

Instead, top off your iTunes Store credit with prepaid cards in small increments so that if the crooks do get your money, they don't get much.

Like Apple, Sega did not return calls and emails for comment.