Scam Warning! Scammers Stealing About $400 From iOS App Store Every Month

We all know the internet isn't exactly a safe place. While plenty of its users are innocent and kind, you won't last long unless you treat every new screen name like a criminal (we're all this cynical while surfing the web, right?). Well, that cynicism is proven correct today, a post on Medium uncovered a group of scammers on the iOS App Store that are costing victims up to $400 a month.

In the intriguingly titled "How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App Store," Johnny Lin describes his journey to discover this massive, unreported scam. The short version — scammers are developing fake apps with certain keywords that will help them rise to the top of user searches.

But that's not all. These random apps from nobody-companies wouldn't beat out the big players on the App Store. So, they've hijacked the ad-spaces. When you search for Wi-Fi, for example, their fake Wi-Fi password generator app shows up as an ad — which would be fine — except Apple doesn't do a great job distinguishing between ads and official app results. Inevitably, you have users clicking on the ads thinking they're getting an official app.

What they get is far worse. The apps are designed to trick users into enrolling in subscriptions of $99.99 a week. In the example Lin gives, the app hides this enrollment in a "Free Trial" button. Deception at its most despicable.

If you think these apps are only getting by with a couple of victims then getting shut down, you're mistaken. These apps are inexplicably allowed to remain in the store, raking in close to a million dollars a year.

So, consider this article a warning. Share this information with your fellow iPhone-owners. The point of the App Store is to find new, exciting, and innovative apps, not to be scammed out of this month's rent allowance.

Stay vigilant out there, people. Don't let the jerks win.