AppStore Comment Scam

SantaLiveNow here’s an interesting story. In the past I wrote about developers using certain application title tactics to get to the top of the application list giving their app more publicity. This was fixed when Apple quickly implemented a new listing strategy. We have also talked about how developers have had friends or employees write reviews on their applications, giving them a high star rating, making the application look worth the money. This was fixed when Apple created a new policy that required users to purchase an application before leaving a comments. Well, it seems that some developers (probably more than Apple would like to admit) have found ways around this as well.

It seems that the developer of SantaLive had an ad on amazon (amazonmechanicalturk) that offered to pay $4.00 to anyone who would leave a five star comments on the application. The application itself costs $1.99 so the person would basically be making $2.00. The writer of the comment is instructed to leave five periods at the end of the comment in order to be recognized and therefore reimbursed. Of the 24 comments the application currently has, five of them seem to follow the five period rule. Though, this does leave me skeptical of the 18 other five star reviews (one person gave the app 1 star for comment cheating! Ha!).

I must say that I am not extremely surprised and have, on more than one occasion, been convinced that the reviews of an application are scams.

The image above is from the WIRED article.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  1. scorpiosoft says

    Comments for SantaLive are now removed in the AppStore.

  2. Dude, I can’t actually believe that’s how far people would actually go just to get good reviews and hits on their apps. I mean, even if that app did get to the top of the list, no one else would like to buy it because, I mean, it’s a virutal santa. that’s the lamest thing I ever heard.

    • I totally agree. Getting good ratings would get them on Top 25 Paid apps list. But, it doesn’t mean that people would buy such a lame and useless app and waste their data usage in downloading it and blocking a few megabits of valuable storage on their iPhone.

      The only users would be the Amazon mechanical turk users.

      Summing it up: Totally a waste of time….

      Thanks Brooke for bringing this issue up… Nice to see whats going on behind the curtains… :)

  3. this is sad that ppl are doing this

  4. They really have to come up with a better feedback and rating system.

  5. busted!

  6. This is not the only app with bogus reviews i’m sure developer could afford or spend $40 to buy apps and give other app not there bad review and also boost there’s

  7. DJContagious says

    it seems all the comments with 5 dots were removed

    lol all the other reviews had like “0 out of 8 people found this useful”. EVERY COMMENT!


    the one that busted him, in which all 8 people found it helpful

  8. Could someone tell me how to add a pic to comments I leave please??

  9. wow thats just like really pathetic, must not be a good app! LOL

  10. Apple should ban this ppl, period.


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  1. […] fangen an, User für gute Bewertungen zu bezahlen: “It seems that the developer of SantaLive had an ad on amazon that offered to pay $4.00 to […]