Why is Apple taking money from my account?

Finding unexpected charges from Apple on your credit card or bank statement can be alarming. However, in many cases these charges have simple explanations and can be easily resolved. Here are the most common reasons Apple may withdraw money from your account without notice, as well as tips for addressing unapproved transactions.

Why is Apple taking money from my account?

Accidental or unauthorized purchases

The easiest way to rack up mystery Apple charges is by accidentally buying apps, music, movies, subscriptions or other services from Apple. This can happen in several ways:

  • In-app purchases: Many apps allow you to buy virtual goods via in-app purchase. Children playing games on an iPhone or iPad could accidentally make in-app purchases.
  • One-click ordering: Having your Apple ID payment information saved for convenience can lead to accidental purchases. Clicking on the wrong item in an app can instantly charge your card before you have a chance to cancel.
  • Family purchases: Purchases made by family members who share your Apple ID and payment method may show up without your knowledge.
  • Unauthorized purchases: If someone gets access to your Apple ID, they could deliberately make unauthorized purchases with your payment info. Criminals might also obtain your payment card details to fraudulently buy Apple products and services in your name.

Fixing accidental/unauthorized purchases:

  • Review your purchase history in iTunes, the App Store or other Apple apps to identify and dispute any charges you didn’t make.
  • Change your Apple ID password to prevent further unauthorized purchases. Enable two-factor authentication for added security.
  • Remove saved payment information from your Apple ID to require input of your card details for future purchases.
  • Set up Family Sharing and Apple ID restrictions to limit or block purchases by children and teens.
  • Report lost or stolen payment cards to your card issuer. You can also request a chargeback for any fraudulent Apple purchases made in your name.

Apple subscriptions

Ongoing subscription charges from Apple are commonly overlooked, leading to surprise charges every month or year for services you may have forgotten about. Some examples are:

  • Apple Music: $9.99/month in the U.S. Provides access to 90+ million songs.
  • Apple TV+: $4.99/month. Streams original movies and shows.
  • Apple Arcade: $4.99/month. Unlimited game subscription for iOS/macOS.
  • Apple News+: $9.99/month. Subscription news and magazine service.
  • iCloud storage: Starts at $0.99/month for 50GB. Provides online cloud storage.

Managing Apple subscriptions:

  • Check your Apple account subscriptions and cancel any you don’t use regularly. This immediately stops future charges.
  • Set calendar reminders annually to re-evaluate your subscriptions and cancel unused services. Ongoing charges are easy to overlook.
  • Share subscriptions like Apple Music Family (up to 6 users) to split the cost across household members.
  • Take advantage of free trials to try services temporarily without charge. Just remember to cancel within the trial period to avoid being billed.

iCloud storage fees

Purchasing additional iCloud storage is a common source of Apple charges. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Every Apple ID gets 5GB of free iCloud storage. Once you exceed this limit, you’ll be automatically charged monthly for a higher storage tier.
  • iCloud stores your photos, documents, backups, and more. It’s easy to accidentally exceed 5GB as you use more apps and take more photos.
  • Larger storage plans range from $0.99/month for 50GB to $9.99/month for 2TB. Family members may be on different storage tiers.
  • Apps like Photos may use iCloud without your awareness. Turning off iCloud Photos can reduce unnecessary storage use.
  • Device backups can consume gigabytes of space. Manage your backups and delete ones for old devices you no longer own.

Avoiding iCloud bill shock:

  • Monitor your storage usage in iPhone or Mac Settings and upgrade as needed to avoid overage charges. Set notifications when you approach your limit.
  • Share family storage instead of paying for plans individually. Use family sharing to access pooled iCloud storage.
  • Back up your devices locally instead of relying solely on iCloud. You may be able to archive enough data to downgrade your iCloud storage tier and save money.
  • Delete docs/photos you no longer need from iCloud. Every little bit of cleared space counts.

AppleCare+ purchase or renewal

Sudden charges for AppleCare+ can seem odd if you didn’t intend to buy device protection. But in some cases, it makes sense:

  • You may have purchased it without realizing. AppleCare+ can be added during the initial device setup process without being obvious. Check your order receipts.
  • It may have auto-renewed annually. AppleCare+ subscriptions renew each year unless canceled manually. The fee will be charged to your Apple ID payment method.
  • A family member may have bought coverage. If you share an Apple ID for purchases, a family member could have obtained AppleCare+ without your awareness.
  • Extra device protection may have been bundled with your purchase unknowingly. Some credit cards include complementary AppleCare+ when you pay with that card.

What to do about AppleCare+ charges:

  • Check order history and contract terms to confirm if you originally purchased AppleCare+ at signup without noticing.
  • Disable auto-renewal if you don’t want AppleCare+ to continue each year.
  • Have family members check for unused AppleCare+ plans paid for with your shared payment method. Cancel plans for devices no longer owned.
  • Call your credit card company to see if complementary AppleCare+ is included with your card and how to opt out if unwanted.

Fraudulent activity on your Apple account

In worst case scenarios, your Apple ID may have been compromised and used fraudulently to run up charges on your payment method. Take immediate action if you see:

  • Purchases you definitely didn’t make.
  • Charges from other geographic locations.
  • Multiple failed login attempts prior to suspicious charges.
  • Forgotten password or account recovery emails you don’t recognize.
  • Signs your account was accessed on unknown devices.

Addressing potential fraud:

  • Report unauthorized charges to your credit card provider and request a chargeback. Notify your bank of suspected fraud if charges hit your bank account.
  • Change your Apple ID password immediately. Enable two-factor authentication if not already on.
  • Remove any unknown devices linked to your Apple ID to prevent further access.
  • Contact Apple Support to investigate fraudulent activity and lock down your account.
  • File a police report to aid fraud investigations by your bank and Apple.

Checking your statements

The key to avoiding heartburn over mystery Apple charges is regularly monitoring your credit card and bank account statements. Be proactive about reviewing charges instead of leaving it to chance.

  • Scan statements monthly for any Apple payments you don’t recognize. Don’t wait for your next bill. Dispute promptly.
  • Note recurring subscription dates so you remember to check for auto-renewals.
  • Watch for small, easily overlooked charges. Fraudsters sometimes run tiny charges hoping you won’t notice.
  • Use account alerts to be notified of Apple payments in real-time so you can catch issues early.
  • Examine statements on a computer for easier charge scrutiny compared to small mobile screens.

Getting Apple purchase history

If you need more details to identify a charge, obtain your full Apple purchase history:

  • On your iPhone/iPad: Open the App Store > Tap your profile icon > Purchased.
  • On your Mac: Open App Store app > View My Account section > Click Purchase History.
  • On iTunes: Open Account > Purchase History from the menu bar.
  • At apple.com: View account details after signing in.
  • Via Apple Support: Contact Apple and request purchase history for your Apple ID.

Use your purchase records to verify charges. You can also submit statements to Apple or your bank when disputing fraudulent transactions.

Disputing Apple charges

If you confirm charges from Apple that you neither authorized nor want, take action to dispute them:

  • Use Apple’s Report a Problem feature to request a refund for purchases directly from Apple. You typically have 90 days from the transaction date.
  • Contact Apple Support to investigate unauthorized transactions or account misuse and have charges reversed.
  • Call your credit card issuer to report chargeback-eligible transactions. You usually have 120 days to dispute credit charges.
  • Notify your bank if any suspicious or fraudulent Apple-related activity hit your bank account and have them reverse the payments.
  • File a complaint with the FTC detailing Apple account fraud at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. This helps authorities track down scammers.

Preventing billing problems

While accidents happen, implementing a few precautions makes surprise Apple charges far less likely:

  • Review your account activity and subscriptions regularly to confirm billing details and avoid forgotten renewals raking up fees.
  • Set up transaction notifications to stay informed of all Apple-related payment activity in real time.
  • Store payment information safely and avoid saving card details on retailer accounts. Manually enter your card for each purchase.
  • Secure your devices with strong passcodes or biometric locks. Enable two-factor authentication on your Apple ID.
  • Monitor family purchases if you share an Apple account and payment methods. Agree on reasonable limitations for children.
  • Examine your statements diligently each month. Look for unusual charges from Apple or anywhere else.

Key takeaways

  • Accidental in-app purchases, inactive subscriptions and overdue iCloud storage upgrades are common culprits of unanticipated Apple charges.
  • Check your Apple account history and payment statements thoroughly if you see mysterious transactions.
  • Address unauthorized purchases quickly and watch for potential Apple account fraud.
  • Implement billing alerts, tighten account security and review activity regularly to minimize future billing issues.

Conclusion

Finding unfamiliar Apple transactions can be disconcerting at first glance. In most situations, however, a few simple checks will reveal routine Apple bills you overlooked or charges that can be readily reversed. Keep tabs on your account activity, enable security protections, and act swiftly on any billing abnormalities. A little vigilance goes a long way towards ensuring Apple only withdraws agreed upon funds from your account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Apple charge me twice?

If you see two identical Apple charges, it could be a duplicate transaction. Contact Apple Support to have the extra charge refunded or initiate a chargeback through your credit card.

Why is my Apple payment pending?

Pending Apple transactions typically clear in 1-3 business days. Funds are frozen during this time and temporarily unavailable. The charge will finalize once processing completes.

Why does Apple charge tax on purchases?

Apple collects sales tax on purchases in most U.S. states. Certain subscriptions may also incur local taxes. International Apple transactions include VAT or GST.

Can I get a refund on accidental Apple purchases?

You can request a refund on most accidental in-app or App Store purchases within 90 days. Contact Apple Support for help cancelling subscriptions immediately to avoid further charges.

Why do inactive Apple subscriptions still charge me?

Paid Apple subscriptions renew automatically until canceled. To avoid being billed indefinitely for unused services, proactively manage subscriptions in your account settings.

How can I tell if an Apple charge is fraudulent?

Signs of potential Apple account fraud include unfamiliar purchases, charges from new locations, password reset emails you didn’t initiate, or failed sign-in attempts.

What do I do if my Apple account is hacked?

If your Apple ID is compromised, immediately change your password, remove unknown devices linked to your account, and contact Apple Support to investigate unauthorized account activity.

How can I get Apple purchase receipts?

To access Apple transaction receipts, view your purchase history in the App Store, iTunes, or at apple.com. You can also contact Apple Support to request detailed records for your account.

Does Apple issue refunds for fraudulent transactions?

Yes, Apple will reverse any purchases confirmed to be fraudulent. You will need to provide information on unauthorized activity affecting your account or payment methods.

Can I dispute an old Apple charge?

If you identify an unauthorized or accidental Apple transaction older than your card issuer’s usual dispute window, you can still contact Apple Support for a refund. Provide purchase details.

Why did my Apple Music subscription renew when I canceled it?

Occasionally Apple subscription cancellations encounter technical issues and don’t process properly. Contact Apple Support if your closed account continues to be charged.

How do I turn off Apple iCloud storage charges?

Disable iCloud backups and iCloud Photos, manually manage your storage, delete unused files, or downgrade to the free 5GB plan to avoid monthly iCloud subscription fees.

Why did my Apple Care auto renew when I didn’t want it?

AppleCare+ auto-renews annually unless you manually disabled the option. You can request a refund for the current term then switch off auto-renewal in your account settings so it does not continue every year.

How do I request a chargeback from Apple?

To initiate a chargeback for an unauthorized Apple charge, contact your credit card issuer. You will need to provide date of transaction, amount, and explanation of the disputed charge.

Why would my ex’s Apple purchases charge my card?

If you previously shared an Apple account and payment method, purchases by your ex can still occur unless the account is closed or payment details are updated. Change credentials to prevent further charges.

Can I get a refund on iTunes gift card balances?

Apple typically does not offer cash refunds on remaining iTunes gift card balances. You can continue to use the balance for future Apple purchases only.

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