Scammy Mac apps force users to pay for subscription | Engadget

Back in 2021, Washington Post reported that about two percent of the 1,000 highest-earning apps in the Apple App Store were some form of scam. It turns out that the Mac App Store is not immune to shady developers either. As The edge reports, a developer named Kosta Eleftheriou has shed light on questionable apps listed on the Mac App Store that use pop-ups that make it difficult to quit unless you pay their subscription fees. Eleftheriou had also previously identified a number of scam apps for iOS that came through Apple’s notification process.

The developer began investigating the situation after a Twitter user named Edoardo Vacchi submitted about an app called My Metronome that disables the Exit option until you pay for a subscription. (Apple made it easier to report scams on iOS 15, but Vacchi said there was no way to report My Metronome on Mac). Eleftheriou confirmed Vacchi’s claim, pointing to it The edge to other applications exhibiting the same behavior. So did Mac and iOS developer Jeff Johnson some digging of his own and found out that the developer behind My Metronome, Music Paradise LLC, is registered at the same address in Russia as another developer named Groove Vibes.

The edge downloaded apps from both Music Paradise and Groove Vibes and found that while some of them had appropriate ways to quit, others disabled the quit option and Mac’s forced quit keys. It is still possible to quit the applications without paying, but the links to close their pop-ups appear to be deliberately designed to be difficult to find.

Apple is proud to have a rigorous review process for the App Store – Tim Cook even said during an epic lawsuit last year that the store would be a “toxic mess” without it. Shady and fraudulent apps, however, still slip through despite the measures taken by the technology giant, and it may even profit from them. According to the 2021 report from mail, the scam apps it found may have defrauded users out of an estimated $ 48 million, including Apple’s commission. The My Metronome app is no longer available to us when we checked it out, but it’s unclear if it was Apple itself that removed it. We asked the tech giant for a comment and will update this post if we hear back.

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