Sneaky subscriptions plague Apple’s App Store

“Subscriptions have turned into a booming business for app developers, accounting for $10.6 billion in consumer spend on the App Store in 2017, and poised to grow to $75.7 billion by 2022,” Sarah Perez writes for TechCrunch.

“But alongside this healthy growth, a number of scammers are now taking advantage of subscriptions in order to trick users into signing up for expensive and recurring plans,” Perez writes. “They do this by intentionally confusing users with their app’s design and flow, by making promises of ‘free trials’ that convert after only a matter of days, and other misleading tactics.”

“Apple will soon have an influx of consumer complaints on its hands if it doesn’t reign in these scammers more quickly,” Perez writes. “How are apps like QR code readers, document scanners, translators and weather apps raking in so much money? Especially when some of their utilitarian functions can be found elsewhere for much less, or even for free?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As Perez notes, users and developers can make reports of sketchy apps via

To manage your subscriptions (which are, perhaps intentionally, buried deeply) within iOS 12’s Settings:

Settings > Apple ID > iTunes & App Stores > Apple ID > View Apple ID > Subscriptions.


  1. I’ve had two phishing expeditions in the past month. Today’s was supposedly from Spotify for 150.99 annual subscription to be charged to my Apple account.

  2. My 13 year old nephew downloaded a “free” app. When he saw it was subscription based he deleted it. But he was somehow signed up to a £90 a week subscription. After calling Apple his mother was able to get the money back. Even the Apple rep was shocked at the cost and said something wasn’t right.

    1. Hit submit too soon.

      The app is called Flipagram. It has 4.4 out of 5 stars mainly five stars. It gets 5 stars by forcing you to rate it it 5stars as soon as you open it, just to be able to use the app. Avoid like the plague.

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