The App Store’s “Report a Problem” feature is back to fight fraud

The App Store’s “Report a Problem” feature is back to fight fraud

Tech Highlights:

  • Second, there is now a specific ‘Scam or fraud’ option. That will hopefully mean that Apple acts on those as a priority.

  • First, it used to be that you could only report a problem with an app if you had already paid for it. That meant that if you spotted a scam app, there was no way to alert Apple without giving the scammers your money first. Now you can report it without having paid – though you can only report a problem with an app you have installed.

Additionally, the link doesn’t yet appear to be available for all apps, so it may be something that takes time to propagate across the store.

There’s no explanation of why Apple has reinstated the link now, but it’s not hard to guess. Scam apps have been coming under increasing scrutiny of late, with Eleftheriou playing no small part in that. The FlickType developer was upset when Apple allowed a scam competitor to his own Apple Watch keyboard app. The scam charged users $8/week for a non-functional app.

The fact that you need to have installed an app means that you can’t freely report scam apps that have a one-off purchase cost without first handing over your cash, only those with in-app purchases. In practice, however, the majority of scam apps have in-app subscriptions.

Eleftheriou has since made it his mission to draw attention to scam apps on the App Store, pointing out that some were bringing in millions of dollars in revenue, using manipulative approaches and fake reviews. One example was a kid’s game with a hidden casino feature.

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