If an offer looks too good to be true, think scam first, then bargain
So much for Apple’s super-curated digital distribution venue known as the iTunes App Store. While the Cupertino giant prides itself on offering risk-free software for iDevice owners, scams seem to pass quite easily through its supposedly thick net.Two separate developers (probably just two different names for the same seller) are selling “Halo 4” on the iOS App Store for iPhone and iPad. The price? $4.99 / €4.49.
“Halo 4 for iPhone/iPad is the fourth installment in the Halo series where Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation,” reads the two games’ identical descriptions.
Both sport the official Halo 4 logo and come with some tantalizing so-called screenshots.
Five bucks for a portable version of the best shooter ever released on the Xbox is nothing short of a bargain. Which immediately spawns the universal too-good-to-be-true impression.
But not for everyone, apparently.
Many iPhone owners thought they were in for some wicked online shooting when they plucked out the cash only to discover that the app was, in fact, a scam – a chess game dressed to look like Master Chief’s universe.
Below are some of the comments (known as “reviews”) on iTunes.
“Wow really, you tricky little......
by Melic Poetry
Chess is no where in the description.”
“This is a scam
by Darla Thakkar
It gives u a chess game”
“Scam, Scam, Scam! DON'T BUY! FRAUD!
Bought this app because I thought it had to do with halo 4. Instead, it is nothing more than a chess game. This is a serious false advertising issue and I am contacting the proper federal administrative agency to handle this situation. DO NOT BUY! SCAM! Fraud!”
We’ve reached out to Apple for a comment on the matter, though we’re not keeping our fingers crossed for any response during the frivolous holiday period.
Also worth noting is that despite all the negative reviews, both these apps have suspiciously high ratings (see above).
This discovery begs the question: is Apple now approving apps automatically? After all, even the most innexperienced reviewer at 1 Infinite Loop could spot this scam a mile away.
Update: Apple has quietly pulled the two applications from iTunes.