Apple saved App Store users from over $7 billion in fraudulent charges over the last three years

Apple saved App Store users from over $7 billion in fraudulent charges over the last three years
Last week, Apple announced that from 2020 through 2023 the company blocked more than $7 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions. Last year, the tech giant stopped more than $1.8 billion in suspicious transactions from going through. During the same time period, Apple also prevented more than 14 million stolen credit cards and 3.3 million accounts from conducting transactions with the App Store.

Apple not only shot down attempts to use fraud to pay for purchases in the App Store, it also stopped fraudulent apps from getting listed on the App Store. Last year, over 1.7 million submissions for app listings were rejected by Apple for failing to meet its standards for privacy, security, and content. 248,000 requests for an App Store listing were blocked by Apple because the app was considered to be spam, a copycat app, or was designed to mislead users. 

Apple wouldn't allow over 38,000 apps to get listed in the App Store because they had "hidden or undocumented features." And more than 375,000 apps were rejected by Apple due to privacy violations. The most dangerous apps are those that present themselves to be harmless but once installed they transform into malicious apps. 

Apple says, "Bad actors employ deceptive tactics to harm users, including the practice of disguising potentially risky apps as innocuous ones. Over the past year, there have been numerous instances where App Review identified apps initially misrepresented as harmless products — such as photo editors or puzzle games — that later transformed post review into pirate movie streaming platforms, illegal gambling apps, or fraudulent and predatory loan issuers."

Apple also mentions that there are dangerous financial services apps that are developed with the sole purpose of ripping off consumers. These apps are also used to help phishing campaigns by impersonating the legitimate apps created by well-known corporations. "Through its ongoing work to review every app submission and investigate problematic apps on the App Store, App Review, in 2023, removed or rejected 40,000 apps from developers who engaged in bait-and-switch activity," Apple wrote in its Newsroom piece.

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App Review will take action against apps reported as fraudulent or malicious by those using Apple's "Report a Problem" feature. Such apps are immediately removed from the App Store and the app's developer faces termination from the Apple Developer Program. Last year, Apple says that App Review prevented close to 98,000 fraudulent apps from becoming available to App Store users.

Many visitors to the App Store base their buying decisions on an app's ratings and reviews which makes them a useful tool for bad actors seeking to get the unsuspecting public to install a malicious app. In 2023, Apple processed over 1.1 billion ratings and reviews with nearly 152 million fraudulent ratings and reviews removed from the App Store. 

Apple's goal in telling you this is not just to brag about the systems it has in place to prevent App Store fraud, but also to make you feel safe and secure when installing an app, or making an in-app purchase via the App Store.

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