How to Detect Fake Apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play

When something is too good to be true, it usually is.

At least that was the case with the spoof Cuphead , a hot new game that was released as an Xbox and Windows exclusive and then made a surprise appearance in the iOS App Store this week. Everything looked normal in the mobile port, from the name of the company to the description – it even played like a real one. But the truth was not long in coming.

In this case, the fake Cuphead app was nearly flawless and nearly undetectable. However, there are many signs that the app is fake, so you might not waste your money in the future – or worse, give some random hacker access to your phone.

What’s wrong with fake apps?

In the case of Cuphead, you might be wondering why this is a problem at all. Of course, there is the issue of copyright infringement, but for the average person who just wants to play a game, an unauthorized clone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, right? Think again.

By downloading an application from an unknown developer, you essentially give him complete freedom of action so that he can do whatever he wants with your phone. ABC recently teamed up with a cybersecurity expert to demonstrate that after hacking your smartphone with a fake app, hackers can take photos with a camera and access them remotely. They can also track your location, record any passwords you enter for other accounts, and even send text messages from your phone.

Another problem is that for any paid app, you give your money to some copycat, not the people who actually created the game or service you download. The Cuphead clone cost $ 5 to download, and no amount of money will go to a small company that has been hand-drawing this game for years.

Obvious signs that the app is fake

If you are about to download a new app, there are a few things to look out for if you are concerned that it might be counterfeit. The most obvious of these is the developer’s name, which is listed right below the app’s name at the top of the page. If this is not the company you found out, it is probably a fake.

However, there are ways to get around this trick, such as this fake WhatsApp app that seems to come from a real company. Fortunately, there are many other red flags to look out for. Check the reviews – if there are hundreds of thousands of them, then they are probably real. Also, look out for typos or sloppy text in the app description, promises of discount purchases, or the full website URL in the app name – these are all useless giveaways that the app is fake.

Another trick if all else fails

If you looked at the fake Cuphead app earlier this week and did everything above, you still wouldn’t think it was fake. However, there was one giveaway, although you couldn’t find it in the App Store’s list of apps.

The only way to be sure the app isn’t fake is to access it directly from the company’s website or one of their social media accounts. In this case, there was no mention of an iOS release on any website or profile officially associated with the developer Cuphead. That should have been a clear sign that it was a fake, although given how real everything else looked, we don’t blame anyone for falling for it.

However, as these copycats get more insolent, it may take more and more effort to avoid being fooled by fake apps in the future.


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