Fraud in the App Store: Apple wants to take better action against fake reviews


Apple has given an insight into the figures relating to anti-fraud measures in the App Store: In 2020 alone, around one million new apps and one million updates were rejected or thrown out, including over 215,000 apps for data protection violations and 95,000 for “fraudulent violations” such as decoy offers, who change their function after the review, the company announced on Tuesday.

Recently, for example, a grotesque case of a children’s game became known that turned into an online casino in certain countries.

At the same time, Apple confirmed that it was systematically taking action against fraudulent developers: Last year, 470,000 developer accounts were terminated and 205,000 developer registrations were rejected “due to fraud concerns”. Customer accounts are also blocked in the event of fraudulent activities: 244 million accounts were deactivated in 2020 alone, according to the company, and 424 million account creations were rejected due to fraud concerns.

“New tools” are also intended to help Apple better track down fake ratings and reviews and actually remove fake ratings from accounts that have already been deactivated. It relies on both computer-aided analysis and human reviewers to counter fraudulent reviews, the company said. It also prevents fraud with iOS apps sold outside the app store and through purchases with stolen credit card details in the app store.

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Apple is also responding to growing complaints about fake reviews: A developer recently sued the iPhone manufacturer in the USA for this. Since Apple earns money from every in-app transaction, the company does not take sufficient action against fraudulent offers, so the allegation.

Apple’s control of the App Store is also the focus of investigations by multiple regulators and a number of lawsuits. In the US, Epic Games is currently trying in court to break the app store constraint in order to be able to bring its own game store to iPhones. Among other things, Apple holds against it that only the central and controlled app store can provide security.


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