Apple combats subscription scams with ‘confirm subscription’ dialog

App Store purchase verification
Image: IDGNS

If you buy something on the app store with a recurring payment, you’ll now be asked to tap to confirm it

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15 April 2019 | 0

Apple has reportedly added a new feature to the App Store in an attempt to stem the tide of scam subscription purchases.

First publicised by developer David Barnard on Twitter, any in-app purchase that is a subscription will have an additional confirmation box after the purchase is approved. The box reads:

Confirm Subscription

The subscription will continue unless cancelled in Settings at least one day before a subscription period ends.

Apple has suffered a rash of subscription scams lately, with apps that contain seemingly reasonable in-app purchases that look like you’re buying a one-time thing, when in fact you’re buying a recurring monthly (or weekly) subscription. It’s easy to accidentally approve the purchase without looking closely enough to see what you’re agreeing to.

The problem is exacerbated on devices with Touch ID, where users will sometimes press the home button to try to exit out of an app that offers a subscription, and instead approve the purchase. There have been a rash of apps lately that seek to exploit this behaviour.

This new confirmation dialog may be a little inelegant, but it should go a long way to curbing accidental and scam subscription purchases.

This appears to be a server-side change, so it will work with all currently supported versions of iOS without any update needed.

IDG News Service

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