How to spot fake apps in Google Play Store?
When you download an app in the Google Play Store, you obviously assume that it is an official app. Unfortunately, more and more fake apps appear in the store that look like popular apps, but were actually made by another company, and are intended to generate unlawful advertising revenue, or, worse, steal your data. What can you do about it?
We probably do not have to explain why it is so bad when a company tries to steal your data. However, paying attention to fake apps is not only in your own interest. Every time you download a fake app, the app’s popularity increases, and it will climb higher in the rankings, making the problem even bigger. But how do you recognize a fake app?
View the search results
An app from a large developer usually has only one version. There are not nine variants of WhatsApp, there is only one: WhatsApp. Yet there have been many who have downloaded the fake WhatsApp app that has been in the Google Play Store for some time. When you search for a certain app and more search results appear with exactly the same icon, then that is a reason to be suspicious. In this case, take a good look at the name of the app and the name of the developer. That is not a guarantee, because in the case of the fake WhatsApp app the developer was called WhatsApp Inc. with space after the name, which of course could not be discerned with the naked eye.
Downloads and reviews
Another good indicator is the download counter. See how often an app has been downloaded. At the time of writing, the official WhatsApp app has been downloaded more than a billion times. Of course, such a number never fetches a fake app. So if you are looking for a popular app, you doubt and see the download counter in a few thousand, you know something is wrong. In addition, the reviews also say a lot. When users are dissatisfied or feel uncomfortable, they will quickly climb into the pen.
Description and screenshots
Finally the description. Where a large developer puts time, money and energy into writing a good description, the developer of a fake app will not usually do that. Broken English / Dutch, robot-like texts, they are all indicators that something is not right. Finally, you can also view the screenshots carefully, to see if there is strange information in them. Separately, none of these tips is decisive, but when you use them together, you will almost always be able to distinguish a fake app from a real one.
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