According to a Touch Arcade forum user, a company has been offering to boost the ranking of free apps using bots on Apple's App Store. According to a user named "walterkaman," the unnamed company will set up automated and repeated downloads of a client's app in order to push it into Apple's Top Free charts. While the company was not named and the story has – as of yet – remained unverified, it has caught the attention of Apple.
The platform holder said in a brief update on the Apple Developer site that developers should be very careful about engaging in this kind of activity.
"Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership."
In other words, if you play you will pay. While the greater level of visibility on the charts is every app developer's dream (because it can lead to better adoption), getting your app to the top of the list by nefarious means could lead to being banished from the market.