Woman Gets Locked Out Of Apple Account And Loses $10K, Says Apple Did Not Help Her At All

In November, while departing from a Manhattan bar, Reyhan Ayas had her phone snatched by a man who quickly fled the scene. When she sought assistance from Apple to recover access to her account, she found them uncooperative.

Originally from Istanbul, Ayas holds a senior economist position at Revelio Labs, a company specializing in workforce intelligence.

She spoke with The Wall Street Journal during an inquiry into a scheme where iPhone thieves exploit stolen passcodes to access victims’ phones, change passwords, and siphon funds from their bank accounts.

In an interview with Insider, Ayas said she was standing outside the bar when a man stole her iPhone 13 Pro Max. She believes he had seen her enter her passcode at some point and had waited for the chance to steal her device.

The 31-year-old said she borrowed another iPhone to try to locate her own using the “Find My iPhone” function.

Ayas stated that she had already been suspended from her Apple account when the incident occurred and was unaware of the reason. She informed Insider that she filed a police report the following day, presenting evidence of password reset requests and credential modifications after her device was stolen.

As a result of losing access to her Apple account, she was unable to log in to her MacBook computer. After contacting Apple support, she was advised to obtain a new SIM card and iPhone, which she did, but was still unable to gain access to her account.

Over the next 24 hours, $10,000 was taken from Ayas’ bank account, according to a bank statement viewed by Insider. She was advised to open a new account and transfer all her funds to it.

The support team “were not helpful at all,” Ayas said. She then called Goldman Sachs, which issues Apple’s credit cards, and was able to get help.

Ayas said she was very frustrated that Apple kept asking, “Have you tried Find My iPhone?”

“Of course, I tried like in minute three, I tried. You’re joking. My whole life is a shambles, but you still ask if I tried,” she told Insider.

During her recent conversation with an Apple representative, Ayas representative said there was no way to regain access to her iCloud account.

“Apple takes great pride in being a closed security environment. But they rarely talk about anyone getting into that closed security environment; it’s also closed to the people who own the account,” Ayas said. “It can absolutely turn against you.”

An Apple representative told The Journal that the company believed these crimes were rare because the thief would need both the device and the passcode, and that Apple has account-recovery policies to help prevent bad actors from accessing users’ accounts.

Apple did not give additional details about any steps it might take to increase the security of these phones.

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