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Developer reveals how fake reviews and ratings play a major role in App Store scam apps

Over the last few weeks, developer Kosta Eleftheriou has been sharing details on how scam apps game Apple’s App Store, sometimes raking in millions of dollars and lasting for months or in some cases years. Apple has this month taken down some of the scams that have been brought to light. However, today Kosta shared his existing deep concerns about the state of App Store ratings and how they’re abused by scams.

Apple does take App Store fraud earnestly, but with the massive size of the marketplace, often has to respond retroactively. That’s actually the same trouble it has run into with its new app privacy labels launching on the honor system – something the US government just urged Apple to improve.

Early this morning, Kosta wrote another detailed thread on how scams abuse the App Store rating system. And at the heart of his concerns, is the same issue that app privacy labels are facing – ensuring the validity of apps’ information – in this case the feedback from users – so it’s really something consumers can trust.

Kosta does a step by step walkthrough on how to find apps that are abusing App Store ratings in five minutes:

Kosta says that this Roki (riding the coattails of Roku) has taken more than $2 million from consumers in about two years.

In closing, Kosta asks Apple to take action to make the App Store a trusted marketplace.

With the recent letter from the US House Committee requesting more details from Apple over the App Store privacy labels, it may not be long before the review system is officially scrutinized as well.

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.