Developer: Apple Is ‘Willfully Neglecting’ App Store by Offering Scam Apps

Apple's Tim Cook got big pay bump in 2018: filing (Noah Berger/AFP)

In a recent tweet thread, iOS App Developer Kosta Eleftheriou claims that Apple is doing little to combat a growing number of scam apps in its App Store, with some of these apps generating as much as $5 million a year from unsuspecting users. According to Eleftheriou, “they’ve had many chances now and for years to right this wrong — but they’re now willfully neglecting to do so, in an alarming pattern of behavior.”

Breitbart News recently reported that iOS developer Kosta Eleftheriou has been highlighting the growing issue of scam apps available in the Apple app store. Eleftheriou found that many of these scam apps appeared to boost the credibility of their app by purchasing fake reviews.

Eleftheriou is the developer of FlickType, a popular Apple Watch keyboard application. Eleftheriou is also behind the Flesky keyboard app which was acquired by Pinterest, and Blind Type which was acquired by Google.

Since Eleftheriou began highlighting this issue, he claims very little has been done by Apple to protect its users from these various scams. Eleftheriou noted that despite multiple outlets reporting on the issue, one scam app in particular that had stolen millions of dollars from users was still available on the iOS App Store. The in question, Star Gazer+, remains available on the App Store as of this writing.

Eleftheriou noted that the same developer of the Star Gazer+ app has two other scam apps that have generated millions of dollars in sales.

Eleftheriou shared an email he sent to Apple asking them to take action on the issue, noting that his own app was being cloned by scammers and used to trick users:

Eleftheriou has harsh words for Apple, stating: “Apple has lost all credibility here. From claiming they take this seriously, to claiming the App Store is “a place you can trust”, they’ve had many chances now and for years to right this wrong – but they’re now willfully neglecting to do so, in an alarming pattern of behavior.”

Breitbart News spoke directly with Eleftheriou, who said: “I believe that by not taking these egregious scammers down after receiving actual notice multiple times, Apple is now showing the world that suppressing the truth about fake ratings on their App Store is more important to them than protecting their own customers. Every hour of inaction & lack of acknowledgment is a total travesty.”

Some users replying to Eleftheriou were quick to note that Apple generally takes a 30 percent cut of App Store sales, meaning the company may be profiting off these scam apps:

Andrew Torba, the CEO of the social media platform Gab, had the site’s app completely banned from Apple’s App Store for not enforcing restrictions outlined by Apple on what users say on the platform. Despite Gab being banned, Apple is allowing a fake app pretending to be Gab to remain on the app store. Torba claims his legal team has contacted Apple, but the app using his trademarks remains available.

Torba told Breitbart News:

Big Tech does everything it can to crush its competitors. When we are in the app stores, they kick us out. When pint-size trademark infringers try to use app stores to profit off our brand, they let them stay in. It’s long past time the DOJ investigated Big Tech for these anticompetitive practices.

Following the removal of President Trump from most mainstream tech platforms, Gab recently saw a 753 percent growth in user traffic.

Breitbart News has reached out to Apple for comment on this situation but has yet to receive a reply.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address


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