As the EU prepares for third-party iOS app stores, Apple reveals just how many scams its App Store security measures protect people from

TikTok app store icon
(Image credit: Joe Raedle / Getty)

Apple takes a great deal of pride in its security, from its devices to the software that runs on them; and now, thanks to a press release from Apple sent to iMore, we have an idea of the work that firm has been doing to keep its App Store safe from security threats.

That includes how much fraud Apple has managed to nip in the bud, and how it’s been achieved thanks to the likes of App Review, App Ratings and Reviews, and credit card fraud prevention. It does, of course, come around just as the App Store faces more scrutiny than ever — and as alternative app stores start to crop up thanks to the EU’s anti-monopoly ruling.

Fraud Prevention and the App Store

Apple says that it has managed to prevent over $7 billion worth of fraud thanks to its App Store security. “As digital threats have evolved in scope and complexity over the years, Apple has expanded its antifraud initiatives to address these challenges and help protect its users,” Apple says, continuing that it’s managed to block over 14 million stolen credit cards and more than 3.3 million accounts from being able to buy stuff on App Store.

It goes on to say that 1.7 million app submissions that failed to meet the requirements were rejected, and that 152 million ratings and reviews were removed over fraud concerns. Apple wants to show just how dedicated it is to the security of its App Store users, and how secure their data is when using the platform.

This is down partly to the App Review system that Apple runs, where Apps have to meet a set of criteria that make Apple know it's not fraudulent. Apple tells us that the App Review team looks at over 132,500 apps per week. The idea is to stop apps that initially seem kosher only to become predatory and fraudulent once downloaded and used. If any slip through the App Review cracks, they are removed when reported by customers using the Report and Problem Tool.

Apple tells us that the App Review team looks at over 132,500 apps per week.

Apple also wants to ensure that its Ratings and Reviews system is trustworthy — and as a result, removes fraudulent reviews and ratings that tell users an app is all plain sailing, when it's actually a security risk. Through the system, Apple has apparently killed off 152 million fraudulent ratings from the App Store.

Finally, Apple wants to crack down on credit and payment fraud, and protect its user's information. That’s why Apple Pay and the StoreKit exist, giving users the peace of mind that their payment information is being handled properly. Apple is also tracking payment information so that it can work out when a stolen credit card is used. In 2023, we’re told, Apple prevented more than 3.5 million stolen credit cards from being used on the App Store.

Why now?

Setapp Iphone Mac

(Image credit: Setapp)

In the EU, Apple has had to open up the App Store and iOS, and allow the installation of third-party app stores on the best iPhones. The entire time Apple has since been trying to explain why the App Store is so locked down, and that by installing these alternatives, users are opening themselves up to massive security risks.

While some of the concern is perhaps overblown, Apple has long been conscious of the security of its users — and as a result, has locked down many features in the App Store to keep them safe. As these third-party alternatives start to become more prevalent, users will have to be more careful with the kind of apps that they install, and where they are inputting their personal data.

What it also does is show just how much fraud is out there, given the incredible numbers that Apple has posted — and just how many iOS users are being targeted. If nothing else, it shows just how careful you need to be with your iPhone, and the apps and games you install on it.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.