Apple Says It Stopped $1.5 Billion Worth of Fraudulent Transactions on the App Store Last Year

By Bill Toulas / May 12, 2021

Not all of the money that various entities accuse Apple of pocketing through that 30% cut is ending up in Apple’s pocket, as the company claims that in 2020 alone, it identified and stopped a whopping $1.5 billion worth of transactions. This is being done in an effort to keep the App Store a safe and trusted place for users, and at the same time, shutting the door to developers who aren’t looking to make money ethically.

The problems that arise from the presence of fraudulent apps have been repeatedly highlighted, and Apple found itself at the epicenter of criticism for now doing enough to curb them. Last month, we saw an example of what was seemingly a game app for kids, unlocking into a fully-fledged casino app when opened with a VPN using the right location settings. In February, Apple decided it was finally time to ramp up its efforts to stop fleeceware on the App Store, a category of apps that was dangerously growing in volume lately.

Apple claims that its ‘App Review’ team has uprooted a large number of apps of this kind, so whatever we see on the App Store is what’s left after the sincere filtration efforts. There’s no way to verify the numbers that we’re going to give you next, but they are what Apple is giving us anyway.

Surely, the sheer volume reflected in these numbers makes a case for Apple’s inability to stop every potentially fraudulent app on the App Store or every malicious developer and user account. Some things will inevitably pass through the filters, as otherwise, it would be too cumbersome to have your legit app or app update approved and added onto the store.

However, that is different from what App Store critics like Kosta Eleftheriou or Steve Troughton-Smith have been accusing Apple of lately. There are quite a lot of developers who simply don’t trust Apple anymore and see “transparency” posts like the one the company posted about the 2020 removals as nothing more than part of PR.

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