Another iOS VPN app is a scam ripping off iPhone users at the rate of $5 million per year

Another iOS VPN app is a scam ripping off iPhone users at the rate of $5 million per year

Last week, the developer of FlickType (arguably the best QWERTY app for Apple Watch), Kosta Eleftheriou, pointed out how the StringVPN app charges unsuspecting App Store customers $9.99 weekly allowing it to clear $1 million per month. The thing is, there are plenty of VPN apps in the App Store and this particular one charges such a ridiculously high price in order to make a fortune by taking advantage of those consumers not paying full attention.
Eleftheriou disseminated a Twitter thread today to warn the public about another scammy VPN app for iOS. XGate VPN is bringing in revenue at the rate of $5 million a year according to the latest data and doesn’t deliver anything that it promises. In case you’re not familiar with a VPN, it is a virtual private network that hides your personal information, prevents bandwidth throttling, avoids services that are banned overseas, and more. At $624 a year for premium, this app is a ripoff according to Eleftheriou.
But there are plenty of clues warning you to stay away and they apply to all apps as well. First of all, Kosta points out that there are several typos in the app and one page uses placeholders for content. If you install any app and see things like that, delete it immediately.

XGate VPN is ripping off iOS users at a rate of $5 million per year.

Before you even hit the “Get” button to install an app, look at the comments section in the listing because that is where you can learn the truth. Eleftheriou points out one comment that was titled “Gives you Viruses” and the review was awful even though it gave the app five stars. Here is exactly what this comment said: “I was trying to watch some p**rn and it popped up so I looked at the reviews and it said it was great but I scrolled further and saw it was horrible so I decided to write a 5 star review so people could see how bad it was.”

Seriously folks, what can be easier than reading a one-star review titled SCAM!!!! that pleads with others “DO NOT DOWNLOAD!!!! pls ppl.” Another one-star review says, “They stole my money bro,” and yet another says that there is no server for the app which means that it is a VPN app with no VPN. It does have some five-star reviews but many were posted on the same date and are credited to odd names like Xever Mccutcheon, Faramund Banda, and Jathibiyya Clements (at least there is no Cranjis McBasketball).

When the app’s Privacy policy pops up, there is only one button you can press and that is to accept the policy. After you tap on it, the app asks if you’re sure. And once the app is installed, it mentions a seven day free trial.

Seven days should be enough for you to decide whether to pay for the premium service. But all of a sudden, the seven day trial mentioned in the app is reduced to three days of premium. For $12 per week starting when the trial ends (or the aforementioned $624 per year), subscribers get faster data speeds, no ads, and all locations are opened.

Consider this-despite all of the above warnings, the app has collected $1.4 million from October 29th through April 12th making it the 350th highest grossing app in the App Store. That works out to annual revenue of $5 million putting it above more famous titles such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Washington Post, Fox News, Reddit, Bloomberg, NBC Sports, Grand Theft Auto, NBA LIVE, Monopoly, DocuSign, Udemy, Facetune, MasterClass, Procreate Pocket, Motionleap, Lightleap, Photoleap, Evernote, LastPass, and GoPro.

XGate VPN is not this scamster’s first rodeo as it turns out. In 2020 another VPN app it developed took in more than half a million dollars before Apple shut it down. But feeling confident that the app could bring in some big bucks before getting discovered, the developer’s second shot at ripping off the public is certainly paying off for this bad actor.


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