Target customer warns Apple Pay scam left her with unexpected charge

@mamaahannaa/TikTok Ken Wolter/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Right out of my digital wallet’: Target customer warns new Apple Pay scam charged her $975—and Apple support is powerless

‘I still wanted to believe him.’


Stacy Fernandez


A woman tried to help two young men raise money for their community college. They ended up scamming her out of nearly $1,000, and she was shocked by the way Apple Card handled the fraud charge.

Apple Pay has made it easier than ever to make purchases—a little too easy, some might say. Sometimes, if you have your Apple Pay on, you barely need to be near the checkout machine to hear the beep of the paid balance.

Some scammers use that to their advantage and will have their machines on (especially at crowded places like music festivals), waiting for someone’s Apple Pay to sync up with them and unknowingly pay the scammer.

Turns out there’s another Apple Pay scam going around.

In a viral video with more than a million views, Hanna (@mamaahannaa) shared the scam someone just pulled on her.

The fundraising youths in the parking lot Target-Apple Pay scam

As she was walking out of Target two boys approached her saying that were selling chocolates to raise money for their Christian community college.

Wanting to help, Hanna bought $10 worth of chocolates, which she planned to pay for with her Apple Card and Apple Pay.

“I have my Apple Pay out ready to go when this guy with the black sweater literally just tapped his phone onto my phone,” Hanna said, pointing to a picture of the two boys, green-screened behind her.

In a follow-up video, Hanna explained that she had already double-tapped her phone, done Face ID, and was ready to pay, but as it normally happens, she expected the guy to show her his screen with the payment info first before tapping to pay.

Instead, he tapped it himself without showing her the amount he would charge.

“I think he was just hoping I’d just walk away to my car with my chocolates and not ask any questions,” Hanna said.

Startled by the quick transaction, Hanna asked for a receipt, and the boy immediately started apologizing.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I overcharged you. Let me refund you this. Hold on, I’m sorry,” the boy said.

“OK, how much did you overcharge me?” Hanna asked.

At that moment, the Apple Pay notification came up. He charged her $975 for a transaction that was supposed to be $10. Now, had he charged $100 or even $1,000, it would have been more believable since it means he could have actually hit a few extra zeros. However, the numbers you must click to get to $975 are not similar to $10.

“At this point, I still wanted to believe him because he seemed very apologetic, and I was very naive. I had had a very long day, and I didn’t wanna have to deal with this right now,” Hanna said.

She added that she just wanted to go home and didn’t want to get the cops involved and get the boys arrested.

“That wasn’t my goal.”

Apple Pay tech support goes south

Once the boy allegedly initiated the refund Hanna reached out to Apple and explained the situation, fully expecting them to protect her.

“My money should be protected. I trusted Apple,” Hanna said.

But of course, no refund was initiated, and Apple told her they didn’t have enough evidence to show she didn’t intend to pay $975.

“I feel like any other credit card company should have taken care of this, so I’m super annoyed, and I feel very taken advantage of,” Hanna said before asking the public to reach out to her or the police with information about the boys.

In a follow-up, Hanna added that she reached out directly to the bank (Goldman Sachs) that backs Apple Card and was told that resolving the dispute could take up to three months.

“Also, let’s leave race out of this, please. And we don’t need to be judging or stereotyping their looks because there are scammers of every race. There are scammers that will wear a hoodie, and there are scammers that will wear suit and tie,” Hanna said. “So just cut that.”

She ended by saying that she’s posting about the situation to raise awareness of this type of scam so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else and so that the boys don’t keep getting away with it.

People in the comment section had mixed reactions.

“Mines woulda declined automatically,” a top comment said jokingly.

“This is why I always just say no thanks and walk on by,” a person said.

“Never ever pay with your phone, always with cash only,” another chimed in.

@mamaahannaa I want to clarify I used an @Apple Pay credit card! I would think they have better fraud protection! They were claiming to be a part of Christian Community College in Redlands. Dm me if you have any info on these guys, I do not stand for people scamming people like this. I know I’m not the only one they’ve done this to! #applepay #fraud #scammers #scammeralert #findhim #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Hanna

If something like this happens to you, make sure to reach out to your credit card bank for a resolution, not Apple Pay, since they’re the ones who actually handle your money. And keep in mind that you have more fraud protection with a credit card than a debit card.

The Daily Dot reached out to Hanna for comment via Instagram direct message and to Apple via email.

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