Shady developers are turning Apple's app subscriptions into giant scams

Despite offering impossible-to-deliver services and vague promises about its VPN services, the app appears to have made its anonymous developer a considerable amount of money.

To learn how this could be, Lin installed and ran the app, and was soon prompted to start a "free trial" for an "anti-virus scanner" (iOS does not need anti-virus software thanks to Apple's sandboxing rules for individual apps).

That particular app was questionably called "Mobile protection:Clean & Security VPN" and was ranked number 10 in the top grossing productivity apps section of the store. Until Apple removes these scam apps and improves its app review policies, spread the word to make sure family and friends don't get ripped off! Over a year the developer would earn $960,000, of which 30 percent would go to Apple. He confirmed on Sensor Tower, a site that provides estimates of app revenue, that this app's estimated revenue was $80,000/month.

"Your app contains images and references of Pepe the Frog, which are considered objectionable content", an Apple App Review Board employee wrote in a rejection notice to Spirit Realm, Vice's Motherboard confirmed. The cartoon stoner amphibian, adopted as a mascot by the alt-right, is not so much deplorable as he is "objectionable" by Apple standards, and the company has rejected a new game app featuring Pepe. It was available from a seller named on the site as "Ngan Vo Thi Thuy" and despite the outrageous price, the app has managed to make it onto the app store's top earners list for the past two months.

Gruber argued that Apple needs to reassess "the effects of allowing developers to buy their way to the top spot in search results". But at number 10 he spotted an app: "Mobile protection:Clean & Security VPN", spelled exactly as shown here.

What To Watch For In Virginia's Gubernatorial Primaries
Perriello is touting his progressive credentials and has the support of the Vermont senator as well as Massachusetts Sen. Northam is a more traditional candidate who stresses his pragmatic approach and ability to work with Republicans.

The next hiccup is an in-app offer for a free antivirus trial that brings up Touch ID for verification that also initiates a seven-day auto-renewing subscription for $99.99 a week.

The "malware scanning" app Lin spotted that aggressively pushes users to a $99.99 weekly subscription.

The app exposes several problems with the App Store now.

According to U.S. tech media TechCrunch, Apple's move could take tipping out of the grey area, and more app developers might institute digital tip jars as an alternative way to get creators paid without having to offer ad revenue sharing.

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