App Store prevented over $7 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions in four years

Apple has revealed that it thwarted more than $7 billion in attempted App Store fraud over a four-year period, showcasing its ongoing efforts to maintain the integrity of its platform amidst increased threats. The company’s announcement comes as it faces growing competition and scrutiny over its App Store policies and practices.

In response to mounting antitrust pressure and legal challenges, Apple has been emphasizing the security and safety of its official App Store. With court rulings in the US allowing developers to direct users to external sites for purchases and new legislation in Europe requiring the allowance of third-party app stores, Apple is navigating a changing landscape in the digital marketplace.

According to Apple’s fourth annual fraud prevention analysis, published recently, the company has been vigilant in detecting and blocking potentially fraudulent transactions since 2020. In 2023 alone, more than 1.7 million app submissions were rejected for failing to meet the App Store’s rigorous standards for privacy, security, and content. Additionally, nearly 374 million developer and customer accounts were terminated due to fraud concerns, with close to 152 million ratings and reviews removed.

The tech giant disclosed that it prevented over $7 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions from 2020 to 2023, including over $1.8 billion in 2023 alone. This figure encompasses the blocking of more than 14 million stolen credit cards and over 3.3 million accounts engaged in illicit activities.

Despite these robust measures, Apple acknowledged that some fraudulent apps still manage to slip through the cracks. The company’s app review team, consisting of approximately 500 individuals, evaluates an average of 132,500 apps per week. This workload translates to each reviewer assessing around 50 apps daily.

Apple employs a combination of human oversight and automated checks to combat card fraud. For transactions made using Apple Pay, the system evaluates various factors such as the user’s Apple ID, device, and location to develop on-device fraud prevention assessments. Additionally, the company leverages advanced technology and human review to detect and prevent the use of stolen credit cards, blocking millions of compromised accounts from further transactions.

The company’s efforts extend beyond transaction monitoring, as it also targets fake reviews and spam accounts. Many of the closed customer accounts were identified as bots created to inflate app ratings and reviews, indicating a broader effort to maintain the integrity of user feedback on the platform.

Written by Jordan Bevan


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