An app on the App Store has successfully bypassed Apple’s built-in protections, according to what a developer revealed on Twitter. posing as free but actually extorting a total of $13 million from its users in less than four years.
There series of tweets Of Kosta Eleftheriou provocatively explains how to “earn $13 million in the App Store”. ampMEthat’s the name of the offending app, promises to boost the volume of music “by syncing it to all your friends’ smartphones, Bluetooth speakers, desktops and laptops”, and in doing so “free”. The app has a 4.3 star rating on the store and has over 50,000 reviews.
AmpME, a fraudulent application on the App Store
But what is the scam? Simple: Eleftheriou explains that the app costs $9.99 per week (over $500 per year) via a subscription that “easy to activate, but very difficult to cancel”. The app has been on the app store since 2018, and since then it has garnered tons of positive reviews which seem to be fake, and which also aim to make the negative comments of users who have sensed – or worse immediately – the scam less obvious. Among these are a few specimens, which suggest that the application “should be removed from the app store” or what “90% of 5-star reviews are fake”.
The secret to AmpMe’s success lies right behind the store’s long streak of positive reviews., all very similar to each other: few words, names of authors who all follow a similar style, and all excessively positive. There are so many that they literally hide the 1 star reviews, who try to reveal the scam attempt. It also didn’t help that Apple included AmpMe in its rankings, such as in the “Apps We Love” category in several countries.
Eleftheriou pointed out that Apple has often justified its store restrictions by promoting its security and reliability, noting how it verbatim reported that “the applications presented [su App Store] offer the highest standards of privacy, security and content”. Not clearly the case with AmpMeand it is clear that they are waiting for measures from Apple which we are sure will not be long in coming.
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