Last month I reported that Chinese crackers have broken the iTunes gift card algorithm and are selling gift card for 1.3 cents on the dollar.
Not content with the low rate of returns and poor sales from the phony gift card they've have hatched an even more brazen scheme to profit from the vulnerability in the iTunes store: partner with developers and split the proceeds.
AppleInsider obtained a pitch sent to the customer support email of the developer of TiltMeter Pro:
I've been taking a look into your application and have an offer to you. I have many itunes gift certificates for itunes usa , canada and uk to make purchases through the itunes store. I can buy your product as many times as you want and can share earnings 50 - 50.
The email originated from a free Yahoo! account and was sent to the support address listed in the iTunes App Store. Its generic reference to "your application" and free Webmail source suggests that the scammers may be using an automated script to send the come-on to numerous developers.
The profit potential in splitting the developer's 70 percent of sales is far greater than the measly 1.3 cents the crackers were making previously and is providing a financial incentive for the crackers to continue.
It also worries me that more developers haven't come forward about the scheme. If the hackers are indeed uses an automated tool to mass email App developers the silence on the issue could indicate that they've found some willing participants.
Look for some radical changes to the iTunes gift card system really soon.