Based on recent findings by developer Johnny Lin, as described in an article on Medium, Apple has failed to adequately screen apps that not only are risky, but are scams, resulting in huge monthly charges.
Apple has come under fire for allowing the "Mobile protection:Clean & Security VPN" app to be sold on the US App Store and charging users exorbitant fees for seemingly unnecessary security services, such as iOS antivirus. Because every app in the App Store has to be approved by Apple, curious consumers can download and try out any number of apps without having to worry about malware, adware, or any other type of issue that Apple likes to claim plagues the Google Play Store. Until Apple removes these scam apps and improves its app review policies, spread the word to make sure family and friends don't get ripped off! "These are the exact sort of apps that the App Store review process should be primarily looking to block", Gruber wrote on his Daring Fireball blog in response to Lin's research.
As always, Apple is very strict about the ways their users can watch their live streams. It was available from a seller named on the site as "Ngan Vo Thi Thuy" and despite the outrageous price, the app has managed to make it onto the app store's top earners list for the past two months. Search ads ensure it earns the top spot when you search for terms like "qr scanner" or "qr code", giving it more visibility and, to some, credibility than its legitimate counterparts. That includes a mobile VPN called "Mobile protection "Clean & Security VPN" ranked 10 as of June 7". One anti-virus app told him its cost US$99.99 for a seven-day subscription. It seems like scammers are bidding on many other keywords.
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Lin said that in spite of the poor grammar and punctuation associated with the VPN app's title and description, the app was bringing in $80,000 a month in revenue, according to Sensor Tower, an app analytics platform. If app makers don't comply, they'll be removed from the App Store. To reach 200 paying subscribers, the app only needs to trick 0.4% of users, Lin reasons.
The app exposes several problems with the App Store now.
This app isn't an isolated case, and because the App Store displays ads in paid-for adverts in a similar way to organic search results, developers can shoehorn suspicious, money-grabbing apps right into the spotlight.