We all know not to open email attachments from people we do not know and to be careful when opening ones from people we do, but what about software from our phones app stores? There are 1.8 billion apps on Apple's marketplace alone. We have to trust our phone makers do a good job screening out malicious software, but no screening can be perfect.
An investigation by The Washington Post found that 18 of the 1,000 top-grossing apps in Apple's App Store were scams of one shade or another. For example, one QR code reader "tricked" users into paying $4.99 per week for a service that the iPhone's camera already does natively. Another app claimed to be a VPN but actually gave users false "virus" warnings, directing them to download an expensive and unnecessary program.
The report states these apps scammed customers for $48 million while they were on the storefront, of which the store took its 30 percent. Apple removed 12 of the 18 apps after WaPo contacted it about them.
"We hold developers to high standards to keep the App Store a safe and trusted place for customers to download software, and we will always take action against apps that pose a harm to users," Apple spokesman Fred Sainz told The Post. "Apple leads the industry with practices that put the safety of our customers first, and we'll continue learning, evolving our practices, and investing the necessary resources to make sure customers are presented with the very best experience."
The review: “This app forced me to give it a good rating before I could use it.” You: “Pfff, no one’s FORCING you!” The app:
Almost two percent of the top-grossing iPhone apps are scams, says report