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Apple reveals it deleted 374 million fraud accounts and a lot more

Apple App Store logo

Apple deleted about 374 million customer accounts over fraud concerns in the App Store in 2023. That's one of the highlights from Apple's fourth annual fraud prevention analysis report, detailing the actions it took against cases of account fraud, fake app reviews, and payment fraud.

In a blog post, the Cupertino giant said it terminated over 118,000 developer accounts and blocked over 91,000 fraudulent developer accounts from being created in 2023. That's a considerable drop from the previous year when Apple terminated over 428,000 developer accounts.

App Store fraudulent protection 2023

In addition to terminating over 374 million customer accounts, Apple prevented 153 million fraudulent customer account creations in 2023. Such accounts may be bots intended to spam or manipulate ratings and reviews, charts, and search results across the App Store.

Taking a toll on potentially fraudulent transactions, Apple said it prevented a combined total of over $7 billion in such transactions from 2020 through 2023. During the same period, it blocked over 3.3 million accounts from transacting again and over 14 million stolen credit cards.

App Store fraudulent protection 2023

About $1.8 billion worth of these transactions were attempted in 2023 alone. The company notes that over 1 million apps use technologies like Apple Pay and StoreKit to sell goods and services on the App Store.

Apple has a team of over 500 experts who review about 132,500 apps per week. Its vetting process is a mix of human review and automated tools designed to take action against potentially harmful apps.

App Store fraudulent protection 2023

In 2023, Apple reviewed about 6.9 million apps and rejected over 1.7 million apps on grounds such as fraudulent activity and privacy violations. The kind of apps that get kicked out of the App Store may include those initially misrepresented as harmless photo editors or puzzle games and later transformed into predatory loan issuers or illegal gambling apps, Apple said.

Apple purged nearly 152 million fraudulent ratings and reviews out of the 1.1 billion it processed in 2023. App Store reviews and ratings typically indicate whether an app is worth installing and if users face any problems.

The latest numbers arrived months after Apple was forced to allow EU iPhone users to download apps from outside the App Store, such as third-party marketplaces and developer websites. The company will bring these changes to the iPadOS later this year and charge the Core Technology Fee (CTF) from developers. While Apple introduced measures like notarization for apps, it stressed that distributing apps outside of the App Store poses risks to the users.

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