Over the course of last year, developer Kosta Elftheriou has been shedding light on fraudulent apps that are taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers on the App Store.
While Apple claims the 30% app commission it asks from developers is a necessity as that capital is reinvested into the platform to manage security, review apps, and protect users from malware, is the tech giant really doing enough to protect users if new scam apps are surfacing on the App Store every day? Eleftheriou does not think so.
Developer exposes another scam app on App Store making millions in revenue
Just yesterday, Apple shared new updates regarding its services business sharing that App Store developers have earned $260 billion since 2008, with developers earning a staggering $60 billion in 2021. Even though Apple claims its app marketplace is the safest – and only – option available to users, it is not safe from scams.
In a Twitter thread titled “How to make $13,000,000 on the App Store”, Elftheriou reveals how the tech giant’s system can be easily deceived by scammers.
In the thread, the developer mentions an app called “AmpME – Speaker & Music Sync.” The app’s description claims it is the “record breaking #1 iPhone music syncing app that boosts the sound of your music by syncing it with all of your friends’ phones, Bluetooth speakers, desktops, and laptops for FREE.” The app has a 4.3-star rating along with over 54,000 reviews.
The app charges $10/week (~$520/year) in an auto-renewing subscription that the developer says is “easy to sign up for, but much harder to cancel.” In addition, the app buys lots of fake reviews on a daily basis. The app has been available on the App Store since 2018 and after accumulating thousands of fake reviews over the years, the real reviews, have been drowned out.
In the thread, Elftheriou highlights a ton of users saying that the app is fraudulent:
“Just look at the names of the people leaving all the 5 star reviews and you’ll see what I mean”
“90 percent of the 5 star reviews are fake”
“cheating the AppStore and creating fake 5-star reviews”
“subverts the entire purpose of reviews”, “should be removed from the App Store”
If thousands of users being scammed is not bad enough, the tech giant is seemingly featuring the app across the globe. “If you’re worried about Apple taking action, worry not – they’re also making millions off your app, and they’re happy to keep featuring it on the App Store, time and again,” noted the developer.