Researchers found 32 fleeceware apps on the App Store, a new term for apps that abuse legal loopholes in app trials. These apps were installed by 3.5 million users.
Sophos coined the term “fleeceware” last year. It refers to apps that trick people into expensive subscriptions by way of a free trial. One example is an astrology app charging people US$30/week without making it clear.
The researchers note that most of the apps are “image editors, horoscope/fortune telling/palm readers, QR code/barcode scanners, and face filter apps for adding silly tweaks to selfies.” Many of them were advertised in other services like TikTok, YouTube, and ads within other apps. The image below lists all 32 of the fleeceware apps.
Fortunately, it’s easy to cancel a subscription to an app. There are a couple of different ways to do it. On newer versions of iOS, when you delete an app with which you have a subscription, you’ll see an alert that reminds you of it. Or, you can go into settings.
- Open Settings.
- Tap on your name at the top.
- Tap Subscriptions, scroll down to the one you want to delete, tap on it and hit Cancel Subscription.