Apple Says App Store Stopped More Than $1.5 Billion in Fraud

Apple says that in 2020 nearly 1 million problematic new apps, and an additional nearly 1 million app updates, were rejected or removed.
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Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report said Tuesday that its App Store last year stopped more than $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions.

Apple said in a statement that it "protected customers from more than $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions, preventing the attempted theft of their money, information, and time -- and kept nearly a million risky and vulnerable new apps out of their hands."

"Threats have been present since the first day the App Store launched on iPhone, and they’ve increased in both scale and sophistication in the years since," the company said.

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The company said that in 2020 nearly 1 million problematic new apps, and an additional nearly 1 million app updates, were rejected or removed for a range of reasons.

Apple said that a "smaller but significant set of these rejections was for egregious violations that could harm users or deeply diminish their experience."

The App Review team rejected more than 48,000 apps for containing hidden or undocumented features in 2020.

And more than 150,000 apps were rejected "because they were found to be spam, copycats, or misleading to users in ways such as manipulating them into making a purchase," the company said.

In addition, more than 215,000 apps were rejected for privacy violations, more than 3 million stolen cards were prevented from making purchases, and 1 million accounts were banned from conducting transactions.

Apple also terminated 470,000 developer accounts in 2020 and rejected an additional 205,000 developer enrollments over fraud concerns.

The announcement comes as Apple is embroiled in a lawsuit with Fortnite maker Epic Games, which accused the tech giant of violating antitrust laws with its App Store fees.

The tech giant booted Fortnite from the App Store shortly after the game's developer, Epic Games, introduced changes that bypassed Apple's payment system.

Last month, media reports said that Apple planned to bring back the Parler alt-right social-media platform to the App Store.

The EU's Competition Commission said in April that Apple uses restrictions within its App store that prevent rivals from informing iPhone and iPad users of cheaper alternatives to Apple Music while charging higher fees that distort competition.

Also last month, Apple posted much stronger-than-expected fiscal-second-quarter earnings.

Shares of Apple, Cupertino, Calif., at last check were down 1.3% to $125.19.

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