Apple Intensifies Crackdown Against Scam Apps That Charge Exorbitant Fees

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 19 Feb 2021

In the recent past we have seen several scam apps on App Store, A recent report exposed how these scam apps end up cheating users out of millions of dollar every year. The developers create fake app reviews and take all the efforts to make the app look genuine.

The modus operandi of these scam apps is pretty simple. They lure subscribers with impressive ads and features that are previously unheard of. Once the user subscribes to the app they charge an exorbitant subscription fee. Thankfully, Apple has begun its crackdown on such apps. Apple’s review team is spotting apps with high in-app purchase fees that are not reasonable.

Apple has also updated its App Store Review Guidelines to reflect the same. It has used terms like “rip-off” multiple times and says it will not distribute apps and in-app purchase that seem like “rip-offs.”

Apple is doing the right thing weeding out scam apps from the App Store. However, there are some cases of false positive. In other words, Apple reviewers seem to have mistakenly flagged a legit app. In one of the cases an App charges higher fees as it uses paid API’s. The developer reached out to Apple and the app was approved after they justified high subscription fees.

Moderating App Store is indeed a complex task. Even in the future we would see many cases of false positives. On the positive side, App Store will be cleansed of scam apps and wrongful rejection is part of the parcel.

Our Take

Previously Apple has rejected many apps that charged exorbitant fees. The rule has been there for quiet some time. In the wake of increasing scam apps, Apple seems to have intensified its crackdown on scam apps.

[via 9to5 Mac]