There is a recent story that caught our attention but not in a good way. A dubious app appeared in the Apple App Store, posing as a cleaning and security product. So far so good, a little buffing in the protection department never hurts, but here comes the catch: after downloading, the app wasted no time to remind you of the end of the trial period and shoved a flagrant $99.99 per week subscription in front of the unsuspecting user’s face. And to add salt to the wound, there are no signs indicating that the app even worked or had any reason to exist. Even though it was quickly removed after being out in the wild, it earned quite a fortune for its scropulous creator while leaving behind many disgruntled iOS users with a hefty App Store bill.
The Ballad of a Rip-Off
Initially discovered by Johnny Lin, the aforementioned app quickly gained a nefarious reputation after the programmer shared his investigation in a lengthy Medium post. The app was called “Mobile protection :Clean & Security VPN” (misspelling is part of its charm) and ranked as the 10th highest grossing app in the App Store by earning roughly $80,000. How is that possible? Well, since it demanded a $99.99 per week subscription, one imprudent move and you lost $400 in the drainer for one month only. This way the shady creator behind the scam only needed to fool 200 people and he/she had cashed in an undeserved $80,000 paycheck. Classy. Interestingly, some people put part of the blame on Apple too, since the company let such an obvious rip-off hit the top of the chart and also appear in search ads. The poorly spelled app was eventually deleted but we fear that its success only encourages immoral individuals to attempt pulling off the same trick.
Make the most out of the free trial but before committing yourself, see whether there are reviews written by experts or forum discussions about it. All self-respecting VPN apps have a considerable online buzz, so beware of nameless software!
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