App Store has saved $7bn in fraud, says Apple

6 days ago

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In light of increasing digital threats, Apple claimed to have significantly expanded its anti-fraud measures to address global challenges.

Tech giant Apple has today (14 May) announced that from 2020 to 2023, its App Store potentially prevented more than a combined total of $7bn in fraudulent transactions. 

As digital threats continued to grow in “scope and complexity”, Apple says it has blocked the usage of at least 14m stolen credit cards and prevented over 3.3m accounts from making repeat transactions.

Apple’s app review team of more than 500 experts reviewed almost 6.9m app submissions in 2023 alone, helping 192,000 developers publish their inaugural apps and rejecting 1.7m for “privacy violations and fraudulent activity”. 

Continued efforts to reduce and end fraud on the App Store have seen Apple deploy tools and technologies “to weed out bad actors” and help strengthen the App Store ecosystem. 

This has resulted in the termination of nearly 374m developer and customer accounts and the removal of 152m ratings and reviews. Additionally, over 91,000 developer enrollments were denied due to concerns of fraud and problematic apps. 

Apple claimed that its quick response systems led to a considerable decrease in the amount of fraudulent developer accounts that needed to be terminated in 2023, as continuous improvements helped prevent the creation of fraudulent accounts in the first place. 118,000 developer accounts were terminated last year, a notable decrease compared to the previous year’s 428,000 terminations.

Apple also claimed that it made an effort to challenge fraudulent activity on a customer account level, primarily targeting bots created for the purposes of spamming or manipulating reviews, charts and search results. 

As well as its actions on its own platforms, Apple claims to have detected and blocked more than 47,000 illegitimate apps on pirate storefronts from reaching users in the last 12 months. According to the tech giant, these illegitimate apps can pose a danger to legitimate developers, as their apps could potentially be modified to disguise malicious software for distribution.

The company also identified and removed financial service apps involved in complex and malicious social engineering efforts designed to defraud users, such as phishing campaigns posing as known service providers, as well as rejecting thousands of app submissions that were either misleading or containing undocumented features.

Just last week, Apple issued an apology for its latest ad for the new iPad after it drew criticism from many, including British actor Hugh Grant.

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Laura Varley is the Careers reporter for Silicon Republic