Apple announced on its developer site today that it will be locking down the images submitted along with apps once they are approved for the App Store, locking scammers out of one more tactic used to scam naive app buyers into purchasing apps that may look just like popular games (like Pokemon or Minecraft). The tactic involved submitting apps with basic images for approval to Apple, then switching them out to infringing images that look just like the popular apps.
Apple’s new policy should help cut down on scammer app sellers from deploying the bait and switch maneuver in the future, helping keep app buyers a bit safer than before.
While Apple has managed to keep the App Store free from malware, it seems the Cupertino company has a hard time filtering out scams. Every so often, a shameless developer tries their luck at selling a title that promises to be something it isn’t. The latest claims to be a Halo 4 clone that is “iPhone/iPad exclusive.” They’ve gone through the trouble of writing a lengthy App Store description in an effort to fool you into thinking it’s the real thing. But in reality, it’s just a $4.99 game of chess.
Every so often, an iOS developer attempts to make a quick buck by creating a simple app, naming it after a hugely popular jailbreak tweak, then releasing it in the App Store with the same logo and screenshots. That’s exactly what JB Solutions has done with IntelliScreenX, a $0.99 app that promises to be the ultimate notification center for your lock screen. In reality, it’s nothing more than a nasty alarm clock.
MacKeeper is a strange piece of software. There may be no other app as controversial in the Apple world. The application, which performs various janitorial duties on your hard drive, is loathed by a large segment of the Mac community. Check out any blog, site or forum that mentions it, and you’ll find hundreds of furious comments condemning MacKeeper and Zeobit, the company behind it. We discovered this ourselves earlier this month, when we offered a 50%-off deal on MacKeeper. Look at all those furious comments on the post.
The complaints about MacKeeper are all over the shop: It’s a virus. It holds your machine hostage until you pay up. It can’t be completely removed if you decide to delete it. Instead of speeding up your computer, it slows it down. It erases your hard drive, deletes photos, and disappears documents. There are protests about MacKeeper’s annual subscription fees. Zeobit is slammed for seedy marketing tactics. It runs pop-under ads, plants sock-puppet reviews and encourages sleazy affiliate sites, critics say.
But what’s really strange is that MacKeeper has been almost universally praised by professional reviewers. All week I’ve been checking out reviews on the Web and I can’t find a bad one.
A gang of con men in Manchester, England, have managed to scam unsuspecting customers out of over £3,000 (approx. $4,700) since February by selling bottles of water, cans of Coke, and bags of potatoes which they claim to be iPhones and laptops. In some cases they are taking £1,400 (approx. $2,200) per transaction.