Since launching the App Store in 2008, Apple has continued to invest and develop leading technologies to provide users with the best and most secure experience for downloading apps, and an innovative and vibrant platform for developers to distribute their software. Today, the App Store is at the forefront of app distribution and setting standards for security, reliability, and user experience.

From, An animated image of a smartphone interface with colorful app icons on a blue background. Playful floating squares with different expressions move around the screen, reminiscent of Apple's vibrant App Store.

As digital threats have evolved over the years, both in scope and sophistication, Apple has expanded its anti-fraud initiatives to address these challenges and help protect its users.

Every day, teams at various levels at Apple monitor and investigate fraudulent activity on the App Store, use advanced tools and techniques to weed out bad actors and help strengthen the App Store ecosystem.

From 2020 through 2023, Apple stopped potentially fraudulent transactions totaling more than $7 billion, including more than $1.8 billion in 2023 alone. In the same period, Apple blocked more than 14 million stolen credit cards and more than 3.3 million accounts from transacting again.

Account fraud

Apple has developed robust systems to quickly and effectively eliminate fraudulent customer and developer accounts to prevent these elements from defrauding users. In 2023, Apple closed nearly 118,000 developer accounts, thanks to ongoing improvements to prevent potentially fraudulent accounts from being created in the first place. In addition, more than 91,000 developer registrations were rejected; Due to fraud concerns, they are prevented from submitting problematic apps to the App Store.

From, an infographic on protecting App Store users in 2023: 118000 developer accounts terminated, 91000 fraudulent developer accounts blocked, and nearly 374 million fraudulent customer accounts deactivated. Since incorporating new measures against fraudulent transactions, more than $7 billion has been protected.

Because malicious activity can also occur at the customer account level, Apple takes a number of measures to protect users and developers from ill-intentioned parties. These accounts are often bots created for the purposes of sending spam or to manipulate ratings, reviews, listings, and search results, threatening the safety of the App Store, its users, and its developers. In 2023, Apple stopped creating more than 153 million fraudulent customer accounts and disabled nearly 374 million accounts due to fraud and abuse.

Apple's commitment to trust and safety extends beyond the App Store, as it has detected and blocked more than 47,000 illegal apps on pirated app stores from reaching users over the past XNUMX months. Blocking apps from pirated app stores is beneficial for developers, whose apps could be modified or used to hide malware in order to distribute it on these platforms.

Last month, Apple blocked approximately 3.8 million attempts to install or run applications distributed illegally through the Enterprise Developer Program, which allows large organizations to publish internal applications for use by employees.

Application review

Apple's app review team of more than 500 experts evaluates every app submitted — from developers around the world — before it reaches users. On average, the team reviews approximately 132,500 apps per week, and in 2023, the team reviewed approximately 6.9 million app publishing submissions while helping more than 192,000 developers publish their first app on the App Store.

From, an infographic titled “Protecting App Store Users: App Review in 2023” displays statistics on app submission rejections from the Apple App Store, detailing reasons such as spam, copycats, misleading users, and privacy violations to combat fraudulent transactions.

The app review team conducts a number of checks before an app reaches the store, and leverages automated processes and human review to detect and take action on apps that are potentially harmful or fraudulent. In 2023, more than 1.7 million app publishing requests were rejected for various reasons, including privacy violations and fraudulent activities.

Bad actors use deceptive tactics to harm users, including the practice of disguising potentially risky apps and presenting them as harmless. Over the past year, there have been several cases in which the app review team identified a number of apps that were initially misrepresented as harmless products – such as photo editing software or puzzle games – which after review turned into pirated movie streaming platforms, or Illegal gambling, or fraudulent and unfair loan originators.

In some extreme cases, the team has also identified and removed financial services apps involved in sophisticated and malicious social engineering attacks, which are designed to defraud users, including apps that impersonate known services to facilitate phishing campaigns, and which offer fraudulent financial and investment services. Through its ongoing work to review every app request and investigate problematic apps on the App Store, in 2023, the App Review Team removed or rejected 40 apps from developers who engaged in activities that enticed a consumer to buy a product at a certain price and then sell them another product. At a higher price.

Bad actors may also design apps with the aim of tricking and defrauding users. In 2023, the App Store rejected more than 248,000 app publishing requests; Because it violates Apple's policies against spamming apps, obvious copycats, or misleading users. This is in addition to more than 38,000 application deployment requests that were rejected because they contained hidden or undocumented features. Apps designed to access users' personal data without their permission or knowledge are also prohibited according to App Store standards. Just last year, more than 375,000 app publishing requests were rejected due to privacy violations.

The App Review Team investigates and takes action against apps reported as fraudulent or malicious through Apple's Report an Issue tool. Fraudulent apps are immediately removed from the App Store, and the developer risks termination from the Apple Developer Program, which may also result in any unapproved apps, under the developer account, being banned from the Store. The App Review Team took action in 2023 to prevent approximately 98,000 potentially fraudulent apps from reaching users on the App Store.

Payment and credit card fraud

From household goods to entertainment services, apps have become a major way for users to make purchases. Apple does its best to protect users' financial information through secure payment technologies like Apple Pay and StoreKit, which are used by nearly one million apps to sell goods and services on the App Store. With the arrival of losses; With fraud reaching new highs, globally, Apple helped prevent more than $2023 billion worth of potentially fraudulent transactions on its platform in 1.8.

From, graphic text showing the Apple App Store's robust fraud prevention measures in 2023: stopping $1.8 billion in fraud, blocking 3.5 million stolen credit cards, and blocking 1.1 million accounts from transacting.

Apple takes the issue of credit card fraud very seriously, and remains committed to protecting the App Store and its users from this type of pressure. For example, when a consumer makes a purchase using Apple Pay, it uses a device-specific number and a unique transaction code, so the card number is never stored on the consumer's device, or on Apple's servers. Additionally, credit and debit card numbers are never shared with developers, thus eliminating another risk factor in the payment transaction process.

When consumers use Apple Pay to make an online or in-app purchase, cards with certain enhanced fraud prevention features will enable the consumer's device to evaluate information — such as their Apple ID, device, and location if the wallet app's location services are turned on — for the purpose of Develop device fraud prevention assessments.

Apple also leverages a combination of advanced technology and human review to detect when a stolen credit card is being used for illicit purposes. In 2023 alone, Apple prevented more than 3.5 million stolen credit cards from being used to make fraudulent purchases, and blocked more than 1.1 million accounts from transacting again.

Keep the App Store secure

Apple has dedicated an advanced set of tools and resources to keep the App Store a safe and reliable place for users and developers. By thwarting fraudulent efforts by bad actors, Apple ensures that users can install software on their personal devices knowing that there are a number of safeguards in place to protect them, while developers have a trusted store with a strong reputation to distribute their apps and games.


There is no doubt that Apple is making a great effort to maintain the security and reliability of the App Store, and soon the user will choose either to rely on the Apple App Store or to rely on external stores, so what do you think? Tell us in the comments

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