Developer Reports Another VPN Scam As Fleeceware Apps Continue to Clog Apple App Store

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 15 Apr 2021

iPhone App Store

Just a few days after he highlighted a VPN scam running on iOS App Store, developer Eleftheriou has reported many other fleeceware apps that continue to clog Apple App Store.

FlickType keyboard developer Kosta Eleftheriou has now been in a battle with Apple for quite some time. The issue started when a clone of the FlickType keyboard took over the original app due to a number of fake reviews and ratings. Apple then tried to suppress Eleftheriou by asking him to sell his app to Apple for a ‘cheap’ price.

Eleftheriou has since sued Apple for the malpractices taking place on the App Store. Even after logging a lawsuit, the developer continues to highlight some of the fleeceware apps that are there on the App Store, which don’t follow Apple’s guidelines and overcharge users to take advantage of them.

This time, the developer has raised an issue against an app called XGate VPN, which, he claims, snubs off $5 million per year from Apple users. This VPN app, just like the other VPN scam he reported, offers a three-day trial to the user, and those who accept the terms are charged $12 per week.

Eleftheriou says that the VPN developer first showcases an ad that tricks a user into thinking they have a virus on their iPhone. Then, the app claims to remove the virus for $12/week, but what it essentially does is that it doesn’t show the ‘virus ad’ again.

Along with the XGate VPN app, the developer has reported another iOS game that claims to be a simple runner game but is an online casino instead. On top of the app being an online casino, the also violates App Store guidelines by not using Apple’s in-app purchasing system.

This app lures users by saying that the app was featured on CNN Turkey, and after the user clicks on the ad, it takes them to the iOS App Store, where it claims to be a ‘fun running game.’ But when the users in Turkey open the app, they are welcomed to an online casino. Moreover, the app doesn’t utilize Apple’s in-app purchasing system, which violates App Store guidelines.

Tim Cook, earlier this month, claimed that App Store is one of the safest ways to install apps on iPhone and iPad, and Apple ‘carefully’ reviews apps for the App Store. With a number of fleeceware apps clogging the App Store, it’s time for Apple to address these issues and resolve them as soon as possible.

Have you noticed any scam app on iOS App Store? If yes, have you reported that app to Apple? Let us know in the comments section below!