Apple boots children's game that was front for online casino from App Store

App Store
App Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has removed a children's game from its App Store that was actually used as an online casino.
  • 'Jungle Runner 2k21' turned into a casino when you used a VPN set to Turkey.
  • The scam ran for a number of months and saw people lose money as a result.

Apple has removed a children's platform game from its App Store that turned out to be a front for an online casino.

The app was highlighted by Kosta Eleftheriou on Twitter, as part of a wider project to highlight the App Store might not be as safe and secure as Apple would have users believe. From his tweet:

This AppStore app pretends to be a silly platformer game for children 4+, but if I set my VPN to Turkey and relaunch it becomes an online casino that doesn't even use Apple's IAP.

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Eleftheriou highlighted how the app used "shady ads" and screenshots to convince users to download it. The only way to access the online casino was through a VPN (unless you already lived in Turkey) where users could make deposits using Mastercard, Visa, and even cryptocurrencies.

Despite multiple reviews apparently reporting that people had deposited money on the promise of bonuses never to receive anything return and a fairly wonky-looking description, the scam reportedly persisted on the App Store for "a few months", and the same developer reportedly has another such scam app.

A report from The Verge notes the App's privacy policy uses a Pastebin and is "largely" like "typical shovelware" found on the App Store.

The app was likely canned by Apple for violating Apple's guidelines regarding hidden or undocumented features, as well as the more obvious breach of support for in-app payments and deposits outwith Apple's authorized payment system.

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