7 Tips for Avoiding Fake Apps on Mobile App Stores

2. Look at the App’s Reviews

Google Play 5 1 stars

You should do this for everything you download anyway. But you might skip reviews if you’re installing something you know and trust already. You’re probably already familiar with WhatsApp or Netflix, for example. That doesn’t mean the apps purporting to be WhatsApp and Netflix are genuine.

In fact, scammers target the best-known names in the hope more people will fall for it. Why bother with an obscure title when a fake Netflix app could trick a few hundred people into submitting their private information?

That’s why you need to check the reviews related to the app. If something’s not right, you can be certain many will have complained.

Even this can be skewed though. Cybercriminals will support their fraudulent apps with a raft of similarly-fake reviews. These will typically be one word or single-line summations awarding it the top rating. Ignore those completely. Look to the lengthier ones and stay skeptical.

3. Check the App’s Description

Bad grammar and punctuation is a sure sign that something isn’t as professional as it would have you believe.

This is just as true of apps as it is websites and emails: big companies hire copywriters to work on rhetoric. They don’t rush out a description that’s full of errors, no matter how keen they are to get their products online.

Okay, so sometimes, a smaller group of developers won’t invest in a writer to enthuse about the app. Still, a bad description is indicative that it’s not quite what it seems.

Equally, if there’s little description, this is also a sign that the developers aren’t as dedicated to their app as they’d have you believe. It’s similarly why fake reviews are brief. Many cybercriminals won’t bother writing loads of text when a lot of people will be fooled by an eye-catching logo.

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