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Apple Stops $1.8BN App Store Fraud in 2023

Apple insights, its anti-fraud efforts in iOS App Store, it prevented over $7B in "potentially fraudulent transactions"
May 15, 2024

Apple announced Tuesday morning that its anti-fraud measures on the iOS App Store have stopped over $7 billion in “potentially fraudulent transactions” between 2020 and 2023.

In 2023, over $1.8 billion of these transactions were blocked, down from the $2 billion reported in 2022. Additionally, Apple prevented over 14 million stolen credit cards and more than 3.3 million accounts from transacting again during this period.

While this self-reported data aims to underline Apple’s commitment to security, it also highlights ongoing concerns. Last fall, Apple settled a developer lawsuit that raised complaints about unfair app rejections, scams, and fraud.

The timing of Apple’s announcement coincides with Google’s developer conference, I/O. This indicates increasing competition in mobile security, particularly as Google Play has been piloting new automated anti-fraud measures.

In the EU, Apple has faced pressure from regulators, leading to enforced changes such as allowing third-party app stores and payment tech. The release of Apple’s “fourth annual fraud prevention analysis” is likely an attempt to maintain the integrity of its App Store ecosystem, particularly as developers in the EU now have more distribution options.

In 2023, Apple rejected over 1.7 million app submissions for failing to meet its standards for privacy, security, and content. Additionally, it terminated nearly 374 million developer and customer accounts and removed close to 152 million ratings and reviews over fraud concerns.

With over 500 staff, Apple’s App Review team evaluates every app submission, reviewing approximately 132,500 apps a week. In 2023, they reviewed nearly 6.9 million app submissions, assisting over 192,000 developers in publishing their first app.

Apple’s App Review workflow employs both automated processes and human review, rejecting more than 1.7 million app submissions in 2023 for privacy violations and fraudulent activity. The company emphasized the deceptive tactics used by bad actors, including disguising risky apps as harmless products. Across the year, 40,000 apps were removed or rejected for engaging in bait-and-switch activity.

This detailed analysis serves not only to underline Apple’s commitment to user security but also to reassure developers and users of the continued integrity of the App Store ecosystem.

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