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App Store has stopped over RM33 billion in fraud since 2020

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App Store has stopped over RM33 billion in fraud since 2020

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App Store has stopped over RM33 billion in fraud since 2020


Since 2020, Apple has successfully prevented over USD7 billion (~RM33 billion) in potentially fraudulent transactions, blocked over 375,000 apps on the App Store that violated their policies and terminated approximately 3.3 million accounts attempting fraud. This was revealed by Apple in their fourth annual fraud prevention analysis that they recently released, which also highlighted that they had blacklisted over 14 million stolen credit cards.

For the year 2023 alone, Apple terminated close to 118,000 developer accounts, down from the 428,000 accounts they shut down the year before that. Apple says this is thanks to their continued improvements in successfully preventing fraudulent accounts even before they were created. Furthermore, over 91,000 registrations were rejected due to fraud concerns, preventing them from listing any problematic apps onto the App Store in the first place.

User accounts can also be an issue though, with Apple blocking over 153 million user account creations with the suspicion that they’re being used to commit fraud such as manipulate reviews. Apple also deactivated around 374 million accounts for possible fraud and misuse. That’s on top of blocking over 47,000 illegitimate apps on pirate store fronts, and preventing nearly 3.8 million attempts to install or launch apps distributed illicitly through their developer enterprise program in just last month alone.

And while their App Review process may not be perfect, the team consisting of over 500 experts still manages to evaluate every single app submission globally before it ever gets downloaded onto your iPhone. Averaging 132,500 app reviews per week, the team reviewed almost 6.9 million app submissions last year alone, helping over 192,000 honest developers to publish their first app on the App Store. Using both automated processes and human review, the team conducts checks to identify and address apps that could possibly harm or defraud users. In just last year for instance over 1.7 million app submissions were rejected for reasons including privacy violations and fraudulent activity.

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The App Review team also work to identify and remove financial service apps involved in malicious social engineering, including those impersonating known services to conduct phishing campaigns and offer fraudulent financial services. They’ve removed or rejected over 40,0000 apps last year alone from developers who try such bait-and-switch tactics. On top of that, over 248,000 app submissions were rejected for violating policies against spam, plagiarism or misleading users, with a further 38,000 rejected for undocumented features. Apps that could access your private data without permission were also prohibited, leading to over 375,000 rejections for privacy violations last year.

Then there’s the matter of the ratings and reviews system. While it’s a crucial system for users checking out new apps and for developers to gain valuable feedback, it can sometimes be gamed by developers. As such, in 2023, Apple processed over 1.1 billion ratings and reviews before removing nearly 152 million that were fraudulent from the App Store.

Of course, most of the time with fraudulent apps the goal is to try and get either your financial information or your money altogether. Apple says that they continue to safeguard users and their financial information using secure payment techonologies such as Apple Pay and StoreKit, which are already used by over a million apps on the App Store. In 2023, as global fraud losses continued to rise, Apple prevented over USD1.8 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions. Apple also adds that they ensure Apple Pay transactions use device-specific numbers and unique codes, keeping card numbers off devices and Apple servers, and never sharing card details with developers.

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