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Apple says it blocked over $1.8bn fraudulent App Store transactions in 2023

In its fourth annual fraud prevention analysis published on May 14, Apple stated that it had terminated around 374 million developers and customer accounts last year over security concerns

Apple App Store

Apple App Store

Harsh Shivam New Delhi

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Apple on May 14 published a report stating it had prevented a combined total of over $7 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions on the App Store from 2020 to 2023. In 2023 alone, it stopped more than $1.8 billion such transactions, the report added. Moreover, Apple stated, the company blocked over 14 million stolen credit cards from transacting on its App Store between 2020 and 2023.

On the apps side, Apple in its report stated that the company rejected over 1.7 million app submissions for failing to meet the App Store’s security and privacy standards. The company also terminated around 374 million developers and customer accounts for security concerns.

Account Fraud

In 2023, Apple said it terminated around 118,000 developers accounts while more than 91,000 developers enrolments were rejected by the company over fraud concerns, preventing submissions of problematic apps to the Apple App Store.

Moreover, Apple said it blocked over 153 million fraudulent customer account creations and deactivated about 374 million accounts for spamming or manipulating ratings and reviews, charts, and search results which the company said “threaten the integrity of the App Store and its users and developers.”

Apps

Apple said that it rejected more than 1.7 million app submissions last year for various reasons including privacy violations and fraudulent activity. The company said that there were numerous instances where the identified apps initially appeared to be harmless products such as a photo editor or a puzzle game but later transformed into illegal movie streaming platforms and gambling apps. In 2023, Apple removed or rejected 40,000 apps for such “bait-and-switch” activities.


There were also instances where Apple found that a submitted app was a copy of an existing app and was meant to trick or scam users. According to the report published by the company, it rejected more than 248,000 such app submissions in 2023. Additionally, over 38,000 app submissions were rejected for containing hidden or undocumented features.

Pirate store fronts

Apple said that it detected and blocked more than 47,000 “illegitimate apps” on “pirate storefronts” (third-party app stores) from reaching its user in the last 12 months. Additionally, the company said it blocked nearly 3.8 million attempts to install or launch apps distributed illicitly through the Developer Enterprise Program, which allows organisations to distribute apps to its employees for internal use.

Rating and reviews

Apple said it removed over 152 million fraud ratings and reviews on its app store that could misguide users in 2023. 

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First Published: May 15 2024 | 1:48 PM IST

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