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How brands can report an app to Apple
5 mins

How brands can report an app to Apple

Table of Contents:

    Apple’s app store is one of the world’s largest mobile app platforms, with nearly 2 million apps available for iOS users. With such a vast selection of apps, the app store is well known for its rigorous app review process and strong emphasis on mobile app security.

    However, as recent EU regulations threaten to dismantle Apple’s apparent monopoly over its app stores and potentially increase the number of apps available to users, it is possible for malicious actors to find new ways to exploit the system and develop malicious fake apps. Therefore, it is important to understand the potential risks that unauthorized or fake apps can pose and how to protect your app from being pirated or modified.

    In this guide, we discuss: 

    • How to report an app to Apple
    • How to protect your app from being pirated
    • How Red Points can assist with monitoring and protecting your mobile apps.

    How to report an app to Apple

    While reporting an app to Apple was a tedious process in the past, it has become much more streamlined and user-friendly. Here is how it is done:

    Reporting apps on the App Store

    In today’s digital age, it is not uncommon for scammers to create fake apps in order to deceive users into downloading and using them. 

    These fake apps can affect the reputation of your brand as well as cost you revenue.  It is crucial to report such apps to prevent your potential customers from falling victim to these scams.

    If you come across a suspicious app on the Apple App Store, you can take steps to report it and help prevent it from causing harm to others. The process of reporting a fake app to Apple is fairly simple and can be done in just a few steps.

    • The first step is to gather information about the fake app, including the product name and software version(s). Once you have this information, open the Apple App Store on your iPhone or any related Apple product.
    • Next, locate the fake app you want to report and scroll down to the information section. Here, you will find a button labeled “Report a problem”. Click on this button to proceed to the next step.
    • You will then be redirected to http://reportaproblem.apple.com, where you will be asked to sign in with your Apple ID. Once you have signed in, you will be presented with a drop-down menu with complaint options. Choose “Report a scam or fraud” from the list of options.
    • After selecting this option, you will be shown a box field where you can describe the issue. It is important to be concise and provide evidence if possible. This can include any relevant information that can help Apple in its review of the app.
    • Once you have described the issue, click on the ‘submit’ button to send your complaint. Apple will confirm that it will review the app and take appropriate action based on the severity of the case.

    While Apple strives to address issues promptly, the sheer volume of complaints and the limited number of App moderators Apple employs means that it may take some time to investigate and take appropriate action. Hence it might be necessary to follow up on your complaint if you do not see any action taken by Apple after a reasonable period of time.

    If you do not see any action taken by Apple after a few weeks, you can follow up on your complaint by contacting Apple Support. They will be able to provide you with updates on the status of your complaint and any actions taken.

    Protecting your mobile app from fakes is a critical aspect of safeguarding your intellectual property and preserving your brand reputation.

    In addition to reporting suspicious apps, there are other steps you can take to protect your mobile app and prevent app piracy

    One of the most important steps is to employ a mobile software protection solution that can monitor the app stores for any unauthorized copies of your app. There are tools available that can help you detect and remove pirated copies of your app from the app stores.

    Red Points’ Mobile App Protection Software is an anti-piracy platform that offers a comprehensive solution for protecting your digital content and preventing fake apps from being distributed online. 

    The software uses advanced tools such as AI-powered bots to detect and remove fake mobile apps from circulation quickly and efficiently.

    Can you report apps on third-party app stores to Apple?

    You cannot report apps on third-party app stores to Apple. Third-party app stores are independent of Apple and have their own policies and procedures for handling reports of fake or infringing apps.

    Due to new EU regulations, specifically the Digitial Market Act,  Apple is being forced to open the iPhone to allow the installation of apps outside their own App Store. 

    The Digital Market Act is an anti-trust legislation by the European Union aimed at regulating digital markets and promoting competition in the digital economy. The act consists of a set of rules and obligations for large digital platforms, including those that operate app stores, to prevent them from abusing their dominant positions and engaging in anti-competitive practices.

    One of the key provisions of the Digital Market Act is the requirement for app stores to allow users to install apps from third-party sources without undue restrictions. 

    This means that Apple is now required to open their platforms to allow alternative app stores and sideloading of apps (being able to install apps on devices outside the platform’s App Store).

    Although Apple is firmly against side-loading and has stated many times they believe it to be a significant security threat, the company plans to comply with the act, and third-party store access is one rumored iOS 17 update.

    It is important to note that Apple does not have any control over the content of third-party app stores and, therefore, cannot ensure the authenticity and safety of apps from these sources. 

    How can Red Points assist with monitoring and protecting your mobile apps?

    Although Apple has not yet introduced an official policy for reporting apps on third-party app stores, there are solutions available that can help you detect and remove pirated versions of your app from these stores. 

    Red Points’ Mobile App Protection Software is a scalable software solution that offers comprehensive protection against piracy and fake content, allowing you to quickly identify and take down any unauthorized copies of your application. 

    Here is how it works:

    Step 1: monitor and detect

    Avoid the tedious task of manually sifting through a long list of apps and instead focus on identifying the handful of illegal apps that may be damaging your brand. Red Points’ automated bots are capable of scouring through Apple, Google, and third-party app stores to detect illicit apps for you. 

    Leveraging the power of machine learning, our bots become more efficient t with each search, ensuring that any potential infringements are identified more quickly and with greater accuracy.

    Step 2: review and validate

    All instances of potential infringement are compiled on our platform, providing you with the option to manually review each case we’ve detected. However, because this may quickly become an overwhelming task to do manually our platform also allows users to set up customized rules that can automate parts of the review process for you. This ensures that guaranteed cases of infringement are taken down immediately, which can have a significant impact on your business.

    Step 3: takedown and follow through

    Once an infringement has been verified by you, Red Points takes charge of reporting the issue to the platform and carries out the entire removal process on your behalf. Upon successful takedown, a summary of the reported infringement and a breakdown of the removal process is automatically shared with you.

    With our platform’s enforcement of your intellectual property rights, you can witness the impact immediately through insightful performance dashboards and tailored data reports. These metrics will help you calculate the real-time economic impact of your enforcement efforts when it comes to protecting your app from piracy.

    What’s next

    Understanding how to report illegal apps and taking a proactive approach is critical for the sustained success of your business. Failing to take action in the case of illegal or malicious apps can result in reputational damage and a loss of revenue.

    To manually report illegal apps on Apple, you may utilize the internal systems of the App Store. However, this approach may require significant time and resources. Alternatively, a scalable solution like Red Points’ Mobile App Protection software can manage the entire detection, reporting, and removal process on your behalf.

    If you would like to learn more about how to report illegal apps and how Red Points’ App Protection Tool can help safeguard your app, we encourage you to speak with one of our experts.


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