According to reports, WP analyzed with experts and found that there were 18 fraud apps out of the top 1,000 apps in sales as of April 21.
These 18 types of apps that take over users’ money provided services such as virtual private network (VPN), Internet security, dating app, and QR code scanning functions.
Among them, VPN and security apps such as Prime Shield and Spy Block used a “scareware” method. They scared users by sending fake messages that their smartphones were infected with the virus, forcing them to make paid payments.
The dating app Udates received a regular monthly fee of $20 for “premium service” saying it would allow women to receive messages immediately. While another dating app Kumit asked users for money in return for continuing to talk to women.
QR Scan, an app that provides a function to read QR codes, tricked users into paying $4.99 a week even though the function is already installed on the iPhone.
How these ‘fraud apps’ make money through App Store
WP reported an expert’s analysis that these fraud apps manipulated reviews and ratings to raise rankings and gain users’ trust.
Fakespot CEO Saud Khalifa, who determines fake reviews, claimed that “25 to 30% of the reviews posted on the App Store were false.”
“In 2019, Apple said it operated a device to sort out false reviews, but it is still missing false reviews that run through more sophisticated methods,” he pointed out.
False reviews are difficult to filter out because they use bots, but they also mobilize real people.
Among the 16,000 reviews on QR scans with a rating of 4.6 were found to have nothing to do with the app, such as nail shops and leash.
The WP reported that 12 of these 18 apps, which are likely fraudulent, were deleted from the AppStore after the coverage.
However, while these apps were posted, the developer made $48 million in sales through the AppStore, and Apple also made 30 percent of the fees, according to WP.
They also pointed out that Apple insists on an exclusive and exclusive app store and operating system (iOS) in the name of protecting users by providing the best apps, but this report does not have much effectiveness.
Because Apple monopolizes the way Apple approaches apps with iPhones, it creates an environment where users perceive them as safe, WP said. Apple has no major competitors and only iPhone users can use the app store, but Apple has no reason to invest money to improve it.