Apple Prevents 84,000 Fraudulent Apps From Reaching Users

Apple through its App Store stopped more than $2 billion in unauthorized transactions in 2022, and rejected nearly 1.7 million app submissions for failing to meet the App Store’s standards for privacy, security, and content.

Ratings and reviews are an important feature of the App Store to give consumers insight into products and feature. Inauthentic ratings and reviews from fraudulent or bot accounts can mislead users into downloading an untrustworthy app that attempts to game the system through misrepresentation, the company wrote in a blog post.

More than 1 billion ratings and reviews were processed in 2012, and Apple blocked and removed more than 147 million for failing to meet moderation standards.

Reported apps are also investigated. In fact, the company performs safety checks on every app before permitting it to be accessed or sold in the App Store. During the development stage, Xcode inspects apps to certify they are using authorized technologies and to ensure the app meets minimum requirements.

After a developer uploads the app to the App Store Connect, additional checks are run to verify it does not reference private APIs and is free of known malware. Once in review, each submission is analyzed by a member of the App Review team to ensure it meets Apple’s standards of quality and safety.

Apps under a developer account that has been terminated for fraud and abuse are automatically removed and prevented from being submitted onto the App Store. In 2022, App Review prevented nearly 84,000 potentially fraudulent apps from reaching users on the App Store.

There are reasons an app might be rejected for fraud. More than 153,000 apps were rejected last year and found to be spam, copycats, or misleading. Nearly 29,000 submissions were rejected for containing hidden or undocumented features. Sometimes apps try to obtain users’ personal data without their knowledge or consent. In 2022, more than 400,000 app submissions were rejected for privacy violations.

Apple also blocked nearly 3.9 million stolen credit cards from being used to try to make unauthorized charges. More than 714,000 fraudulent accounts also were blocked from making transactions again.

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