Most Apple Store thieves we’ve seen prefer to go with the classic smash and grab technique, but according to federal court charges, one fraudster in Florida broke his Apple heist into 42 separate scams by using a simple but major flaw in Apple’s credit card processing system to plunder $309,768 worth of products from Apple’s retail locations.
Apple just set a record for the most iPhones sold in a quarter, but while the new iPhone 5ses and Cs are flying off shelves, a new scam is booming in China where broken old iPhones are cannibalized for parts to build complete units sold with a full retail price tag.
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.
Apple has issued a reminder to developers warning them to not manipulate App Store rankings. Following Apple’s removal of a third-party developer’s collection of 68 copy-cat apps (titles like Temple Jump and Numbers With Friends) from the App Store, the issue of chart scamming has been brought into the light again.
While Apple has been slow to fix the battery issues plaguing its new iPhone 4S and other devices running the new iOS 5 software, it seemed the jailbreaking community had come to the rescue. A tweak that hit Cydia earlier this week claims to fix your battery life woes under iOS 5, but it wants $4.99 for the privilege.
As it turns out, the tweak does nothing; it’s just a complete scam to steal your cash.