Over the course of the past few years, there has been an uptick in the number of scams that can be found on the App Store. These are applications developed by much-larger companies, and are usually free to download. But once you download the app, you’ll either be greeted with a completely different experience than what’s shown, or you’ll be prompted to pay to unlock every single feature of the app.
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It’s a frustrating problem that has caused such a stir because of continued antitrust lawsuits and investigations into Apple’s App Store. What makes this confusing is that we see examples all of the time of applications that are denied being listed for menial and trivial reasons. Meanwhile, these “scam” apps make it in without so much as a hiccup.
What’s even more frustrating is the fact that until recently, the process for reporting these fraudulent apps was a mixed bag. Until the release of iOS 15, the only way that you could report one of these scams is to attempt to reach out to Apple Support. But there was no guarantee that the lodged complaint would get to the right department within Apple.
How To Report App Store Scams
Thanks to iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, the concerns over not being able to report App Store scams have finally been squelched. At least to a certain extent. The following process is not the best solution to the growing problem, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. If you find yourself needing to report App Store scams, here are the steps that you need to take:
- Open the App Store.
- Search for the app that you are wanting to report.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom the listing.
- Tap Report a Problem.
- After the page is loaded in Safari, sign into the same Apple ID account that you downloaded the app with.
- Under What can we help you with?, tap the drop down menu that says I’d like to…
- From the drop-down, tap Report a scam or fraud.
- Tap the Next button.
- In the box labeled Describe the issue, list the complaints that you have with the app.
- Tap the Submit button at the top of the page.
From there, it’s just a waiting game as the App Store will review your claim before potentially rendering a decision. But this is still a better method than essentially sending a complaint into a black hole with no chance at real change. Hopefully, we’ll see Apple turn the corner and continue improving upon this new tool at our disposal.
According to a report from The Verge, that’s exactly what Apple is attempting to do. The company is rumored to have been hiring an “ASI Investigator”, which is described as the following:
“ASI Investigators are accountable for investigating fraudulent apps and trends, as well as the developers involved.”
App Store scams have to come to an end, and it’s something that should not be as big of a deal considering there’s an entire team dedicated to App Store reviews. We’ll have to see how this all plays out, but hopefully Apple continues pushing forward in “fixing” the problem.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.