App Store prevented $1.5bn in fraud last year, removed 150,000 spam apps

App Store
App Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple's App Store prevented $1.5bn in potential fraud in 2020.
  • Apple's App Review process rejected nearly 2 million submissions, including 150,000 spam and copycat apps, as well as apps that mislead customers into making purchases.
  • Apple also terminated nearly half a million developer accounts last year over fraud concerns.

New figures released by Apple today state that its App Store helped to prevent nearly $1.5 billion worth of potentially fraudulent transactions, whilst rejecting nearly 2 million App Store submissions and terminating 470,000 developer accounts.

Apple's App review team helped to launch apps from 180,000 new developers, whilst rejecting nearly 1 million problematic new apps and an additional 1 million updates. Amongst these were apps found to be targeting consumers, some 48,000 were found to contain hidden or undocumented features whilst more than 150,000 apps were rejected because they were spam or copycat apps, or worse because they misled users into making a purchase. 95,000 apps were removed for bait and switch tactics that saw apps pass App Review only to have their functionality changed, presumably including Epic Games' Fortnite following its direct payment hotfix last year.

Apple also rejected more than 200,000 apps over data privacy violations.

Since 2020, Apple has used machine learning, AI, and human review to moderate the reviews submitted for apps, processing over a billion ratings and 100 million reviews, removing 250 million in the process.

Apple has also terminated the developer accounts of 470,000 accounts in 2020, rejecting a further 205,000 new accounts over fraud concerns. Apple has also deactivated 244 million fraudulent customer accounts and rejected a staggering 424 million account creations due to fraudulent and abusive activity.

In 2020 Apple prevent 3 million stolen payment cards from being used to make purchases, banning 1 million accounts in the process, preventing the aforementioned $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions in the process. Apple Pay and its StoreKit API are now used by more than 900,000 apps through its ecosystem.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9