Avast published a list of 133 fake apps in March 2021, estimating that they had been downloaded 500 million times. According to a survey by VPNCheck, a VPN review platform, 84 of these scam apps are still accessible on the App Store more than a year later, defrauding customers of more than $100 million a year. The research raises significant issues about Apple’s security protocols and the processes used to review apps before they are released. This is because only the App Store allows Apple iOS users to download apps. Sideloading apps is not allowed, while it is on Android. Apple maintains strict control over which apps can be published through the store and charges a 30% commission, a move that is still up for debate and opposed by companies like Epic Games.
Avast’s listing was reviewed by VPNCheck, which then independently verified the information for each program in Sensor Tower. It was discovered that in June 2022, active “fleece are” programs had 7.2 million distinct downloads, generating a total net income of $8.6 million in a single month. Based on June stats, these apps are estimated to be running a $103.2 million scam on the AppStore.
The term “fleece” describes mobile apps with exorbitant and intrusive subscription costs. Most of the time, these apps take advantage of users who don’t know how to terminate subscriptions.
The majority of scam apps on the list are games like virtual instruments for music or productivity tools like torches and calculators. When you search for apps such as photo or video editors, quiz games, scanners, tuners, volume boosters, or divination apps, these categories may also show up in your results. Although these are some of the most frequently encountered themes, there may be scammers operating in other niches.
Looking at the ratings distribution of these apps can help you identify these scams quickly. The majority of their 5-star ratings, many of which have been purchased, would typically be left by anonymous reviewers. These run for a set period of time and aim to cover up the many honest negative reviews left by real users.
Source: Indian Express
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