Don’t Get Taken: Avoid Fake Android Apps

What to Look for in Fake Apps

Not long ago a fake app for the iPhone duped a lot of people.  Even with Apple’s vetting process, it sneaked through their system and whoever created it essentially stole many thousands of dollars from users.  If you use an Android device, you have to be on the lookout as well.

Fake Android Apps

There are a ton of fake apps out there.  Some are so poorly made that hardly anyone is duped, but others are created magnificently and scam a lot of people.  As the best phone repair shop in Billings, we want to make sure that you aren’t tricked.  Here’s what to look for in fake apps, and how to avoid fake Android apps.

Pay Close Attention to Icons

When a fake app developer creates their knock-off, they aren’t too worried about stealing images.  But sometimes, they’ll rush through things and the stolen image won’t be quite the same, or as high quality as the original.  If it looks blurry, out of place, or different than what you would expect, be suspicious.

App Icons

Pay Close Attention to Names

Not long ago someone created a fake WhatsApp app.  They did a great job of mimicking just about everything and duped over 1 million people into downloading it.  The name of the app was identical, and the name of the developer was actually identical as well (using coding they added a single white space to make it indistinguishable).  That’s a tough one to spot, but another fake app that knocked off the SwiftKey app was called Swift Keyboard.  Similar enough to con a lot of people.  Also look at added words (like “Update” in the name).

App Names

Pay Close Attention to the Downloads

The Facebook app has been downloaded more than 1 billion times.  Suppose a good con artists rips off the icon, copies the developer name, and makes it look legit, you can see from the downloads that you don’t have the official app.  A popular app will have downloads well into the millions; a rip-off might have just a few thousand.

App Installs or Downloads

Pay Close Attention to the Description

Usually the scammers will copy the descriptions and screenshots exactly.  They just copy and paste.  But sometimes they try to make things sound a little better than they truly are.  Watch for grammar errors, spelling errors, and screenshots that don’t seem to make sense.

App Description

Pay Close Attention to the Reviews

Popular apps have a lot of reviews.  Often many thousands of them.  Fake apps may have some reviews, but these hackers rely on quick downloads before their apps are pulled.  They simply don’t have the time to gather as many reviews as the legit version will have.

App Reviews

Pay Attention and Don’t Get Duped!

Fake apps have been a problem as long as apps have been around.  It’s not new, and it’s likely not going away anytime soon.  Most of these apps are riddled with ads (every time an ad is shown the developer makes a couple cents; millions of views per hour adds up), and some have malware that will ruin your device.  Use your best judgment and don’t get duped with a fake app.

If your Android device has Malware, bring it to iDoctor.  We fix phones, tablets, computers, and more.  With two locations in Billings, we are convenient to just about everyone.