Apple cracks down on subscription scam apps

“Apple is cracking down on iOS apps that use a variety of underhand techniques to make money from unsuspecting users,” Graeme Burton reports for V3. “Tricks deployed include deceptive user interface elements designed to push people into inadvertently paying for subscriptions or services, and the promise of “free trials” that convert into a subscription within days. Some apps offer paid-for subscriptions despite functioning no differently from freely available alternatives.”

“An app called ‘QR Code Reader’, for example, is tricking users into a $156 per year paid subscription, raking in $5.3 million for its developer, making it the 220th top grossing app in the App Store,” Burton reports. “Another app called ‘Weather Alarms’ has been employing sneaky tactics to trick users into pushing a button that will start a free trial or sign them up for $20/month subscription. The app has raked in more than $1 million in annual revenue, according to TechCrunch.”

Techcrunch and Forbes have named and shamed a number of the most egregious alleged offenders,” Burton reports. “While the company has yet to comment officially, 11 or the 17 apps mentioned in Forbes’ article have already disappeared from the App Store – probably because Apple has removed them.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good to see Apple responding to this issue promptly!

To manage your subscriptions in iOS 12:

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

Sneaky subscriptions plague Apple’s App Store – October 16, 2018

1 Comment

  1. Thanks MDN. I only have one, TunnelBear… But, I didn’t even know it was automatic. They a bit sneaky when I first got it…no mention that I could easily (EASILY!) see about automatic renewal.

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