Guilherme Rambo, writing for 9to5Mac:
App Store scams have recently resurfaced as a developer
exposed several scam apps in the App Store making millions of
dollars per year. Most of these apps exploit fake ratings and
reviews to show up in search results and look legit, but trick
users into getting subscriptions at irrationally high prices.
It looks like Apple has started to crack down on scam attempts by
rejecting apps that look like they have subscriptions or other
in-app purchases with prices that don’t seem reasonable to the App
From the rejection letter sent by the App Store review team:
Customers expect the App Store to be a safe and trusted
marketplace for purchasing digital goods. Apps should never betray
this trust by attempting to rip-off or cheat users in any way.
Unfortunately, the prices you’ve selected for your app or in-app
purchase products in your app do not reflect the value of the
features and content offered to the user. Charging irrationally
high prices for content or services with limited value is a
rip-off to customers and is not appropriate for the App Store.
Specifically, the prices for the following items are
This is exactly the sort of crackdown I’ve been advocating for years. A bunco squad that looks for scams, starting with apps that (a) have high-priced in-app purchases and subscriptions, and (b) are generating a lot of money. Ideally Apple will crack down on all scams, but practically speaking, all that matters is that they identify and eliminate successful scams — and identify the scammers behind them and keep them out of the store.
Developer Kosta Eleftheriou has been righteously leading a sort of indie bunco squad for a few weeks, identifying a slew of scams (usually involving apps with clearly fraudulent ratings, too).
★ Friday, 19 February 2021