Starbucks iPhone App Easily Scammed

not too much h20

Starbucks recently launched an iPhone app that allows you to pay for your coffees with a simple swipe of your phone.

The Starbucks Card mobile app enabled payments by iPhone in nearly 7,000 stores in the US (as yet unavailable in the UK), but it has been reported that it is incredibly easy for it to be scammed.

As the app does not require you to enter a username and password in order to make payments, it’s possible to take a screenshot of the barcode (which remains the same each time you make a purchase) used by the app, and then email that photo to another phone or phones.

Within seconds this screenshot can then be used by others.

The Barcode In Action:
Starbucks iPhone app

But the chances of large-scale fraud using this scam are small, as you can only spend up to the amount on the Starbucks account, and you also need access to the iPhone to take the screenshot – if you leave your phone unattended, you’re more likely to have it nicked rather than someone try to get free coffee from it.

Nevertheless it’s still somebody’s money that can be spent, and it seems it is something that Starbucks has overlooked or deliberately ignored for the sake of simplicity. They may be gambling on this being a small-scale problem and worth the odd disgruntled customer.

Via The Register.

Creative Commons License photo credit: {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester}

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