Buying Child Porn on iTunes


The title of this post is an extremely tasteless joke, but it fits the foulness of my mood on this subject. In the last few months I’ve become aware that Apple has, through ignorance ineptitude or uncaring, allowed its iTunes gift cards to become a prime currency of the black market, which means most assuredly that people are using those things to pay for child pornography, weapons, drugs, prostitution, and soooo many stolen things. Not to mention the money laundering. So my question for Apple: If you’re allowing this to happen, why not sell the contraband directly through your corporate platform? And fuck y’all evil asses.

For any naive old folks in my readership, never do any business involving iTunes cards on any end. They’re employed in a number of cons these days. Heard about this deal where they try to get you to deposit a check for $3000, spend $2700 of it on iTunes cards which you return to them, and keep the $300. Do not bite.

Comments

  1. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Weren’t Apple the same ones who were so self-righteous about how they’d never allow (legal, adult) porn or related apps on their iShit?

  2. Jessie Harban says

    So my question for Apple: If you’re allowing this to happen

    How are they “allowing” it? You can buy any gift card for cash, and they’re naturally difficult to trace. That they picked iTunes over, say, Amazon is just luck of the draw. Apple isn’t “allowing” it any more than the US government is “allowing” its bank notes to be used to facilitate black market transactions.

    For any naive old folks in my readership, never do any business involving iTunes cards on any end. They’re employed in a number of cons these days. Heard about this deal where they try to get you to deposit a check for $3000, spend $2700 of it on iTunes cards which you return to them, and keep the $300.

    That’s just a basic check fraud scheme. It’s probably been in use since there were checks. The iTunes gift card is incidental; normally they just ask you to wire the $2700 back to them, but I’ve also heard of rare variants involving Paypal money packs or bitcoins. I still don’t see how this is Apple’s fault.

    Incidentally, I learned of a scheme that let me sell iTunes gift cards for more than face value. What sort of illegal trickery is behind that? Turns out, none. Apple charges different prices in different countries, so a song that’s $0.99 here might be the equivalent of $2 in another country. However, due to a quirk of the system, having an American iTunes gift card lets you pay American prices. As such, people in foreign countries are willing to pay a premium for American iTunes gift cards because it’s cheaper than paying Apple’s price in their own country.

    Note that I learned of the scheme years ago; I don’t know if it still works.

  3. says

    Are you all that sure there is nothing Apple could do to make their shit less useful for money laundering? Nothing at all?

    The scale of the issue is kind of ridiculous. If all they can be used for is buying digital content from the iTunes store, how does their black market value work? Are stolen/scammed ones being sold at less than face value to unscrupulous or naive consumers in a third market? How can there be that much demand for digital content in the first place?

    If one understood more fully how this situation is working, I’m sure they could come up with ways to at least dampen the flames. Should not be hard for a corporation with their means. I’m still convinced of that much. An iTunes card isn’t a fucking bank note.

    You could be right, but I’m not personally convinced yet. Until then, still, I stand by everything I said.

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