7 million iPhone users urged to remove these 84 scammy apps charging them quietly

Apple has a tight grip over which apps iPhone owners can use. iOS users can only download apps from the App Store. The company also takes a 30 percent commission from developers. Despite these measures – which many believe are unfair – that have seemingly been designed to keep users safe, many fraudulent apps are still there on Apple’s official applications store.

Apple refuses to do anything about a good number of fraudulent apps

According to VPN reviews site Vpncheck, Apple has done nothing about the majority of 133 fraudulent apps that Avast found in March 2021. As of that time, they had been downloaded 500 million times and brought in revenue of $365 million.

15 months later, 84 of those apps are still present on the App Store. These apps are called fleeceware and have been designed to dupe you out of money. So while there is nothing malicious in their code and they don’t steal your data, they are still quite dangerous because they come with hidden excessive fees and charges.

According to Vpncheck’s estimate, they scam users out of $100 million annually. The apps have been downloaded 7.2 million times and generated revenue of $8.6 million every month.

It’s not that hard to identify apps like these. Most of them are entertainment apps such as virtual musical tools or utilities like flashlights and calculators. They can also be lurking beneath fortune-telling apps, photo or video filters or editors, volume boosters, quiz-based games, or wallpapers. Another tell-tale sign is a flood of paid 5-star reviews posted with bogus reviewer names to hide genuine lower-rated reviews.

These apps lure users with a free trial period even though it’s normally easy to find a free alternative. They come with hidden costs and may charge you multiple times or charge a higher amount at checkout. On top of that, they have been designed such that it’s very hard to unsubscribe from their services, so they may continue billing you even after you uninstall them. Also, be wary of false advertisements that claim the app has been recommended by Apple.

If you have downloaded any of the 84 apps and are unable to unsubscribe, it’s best to ask your bank to stop processing any payment requests made by them.

Here are there names:

  1. Frames – Picture Collage Maker
  2. Facelab – Face Editor & Beauty
  3. TeasEar: ASMR Slime Antistress
  4. Nebula: Horoscope & Astrology
  5. Astroline: The Daily Horoscope
  6. FLMX – Video Editor
  7. Stickerfy: Sticker Maker
  8. Pixomatic – Background eraser
  9. SpeedPro Slow speed video edit
  10. Music Zen – Relaxing Sounds
  11. Sticker Maker – BeSticky
  12. Photo To Sketch – Drawing book
  13. Mood Balance: Self Care Tracker
  14. Presets for Lightroom – Vidl
  15. Jigsaw Puzzle – Brain Games
  16. Lift: Story Maker
  17. Dazzle – Insta stories editor
  18. Baby Sticker- Track Milestones
  19. Life Palmistry – AI Palm & Tag
  20. Photoly Remove Object & Editor
  21. Facetory: Face Yoga & Exercise
  22. VOCHI Video Effects Editor
  23. Lucky Life – Future Seer
  24. Dazz Cam- D3D Photo Effect
  25. Beat.ly Music Video Maker
  26. UltraFX – Effect Video Maker
  27. Girl Games: Unicorn Slime
  28. Impresso – Insta Story Editor
  29. PDF Scanner: Document Scan
  30. Dizzi – Photo & Video Effects
  31. Hyper Cleaner: Clean Phone
  32. Highlight Story Cover Maker!
  33. Cartoons Me – Photo Art Editor
  34. Sweet Pics – Baby Photo Edito
  35. Slimy: Anxiety Relief Slime 3D
  36. Frame – Slideshow Video Maker
  37. Auto Sticker Maker Studio
  38. iCons – Icon Changer App +
  39. ToonApp Cartoon Photo Editor
  40. MagicFX – Magic Video Effects
  41. Horoscope 2019 and Palm Reader
  42. Handset – Second Phone Number
  43. SlidePic – Slideshow Maker
  44. Astro+ Horoscope & Astrology
  45. FaceMe-Fun Personality Tests
  46. Widget PLUS+ – Photo & Weather
  47. aipic – Magic Photo Editor
  48. Path – Horoscope & Astrology
  49. Photo Collage – Collageable
  50. Hub – Story Templates Maker
  51. iWidget Pro : Custom widgets
  52. Video Puzzles – Magic Puzzle
  53. Menu Maker!
  54. edjing Mix – dj
  55. Guitar – Chords, Tabs & Games
  56. Piano – Lessons & Tiles Games
  57. WeDrum: Drums, Real Drum Games
  58. Metronome – Tap Tempo & Rhythm
  59. Guitar Tuner – Ukulele & Bass
  60. Guitar – real games & lessons
  61. Drums: Play Beats & Drum Games
  62. Beat maker pro – DJ Drum Pad
  63. Karaoke Songs – Voice Singing
  64. Piano Crush – Keyboard Games
  65. edjing Pro – music remix maker
  66. DJ it! – Music Mixer Pad
  67. Jambl: DJ Band & Beat Maker
  68. Guitar Play – Games & Songs
  69. Memoristo: Brain Test, IQ Game
  70. Loop Maker Pro – Music Maker
  71. Metronome Pro – Beat & Tempo
  72. Equalizer+ HD music player
  73. Bass Booster Volume Power Amp
  74. Equalizer Fx: Bass Booster App
  75. ScanGuru: PDF Document Scanner
  76. Drink Water ∙ Daily Reminder
  77. Password Manager – Lock Apps
  78. Live Wallpaper Maker: 4K Theme
  79. RECOLLECT: Color by Number
  80. Avatar Maker Character Creator
  81. Translator Guru: Voice & Text
  82. Ringtones HD ∙ Ringtone Maker
  83. Scanner App ∙ Scan & Sign PDF
  84. Translate Camera – Speak On

So, why is not Apple removing these apps from the App Store?

Given how easy it is to spot these apps, it appears that Apple cares more about its 30 percent cut, search ads business, and App Store profitability than protecting users from scammy apps, or so thinks Vpncheck.

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