Don’t Download These Fake Telegram Apps
Finding a fake app is usually pretty straightforward, but that hasn’t stopped hackers and scammers from tricking us . The final example is a couple of fake Telegram apps that look and work just like the real ones, but bombard you with ads to make some extra cash.
Fake versions of Telegram, a popular messaging app with a focus on security, were recently discovered by cybersecurity company Symantec . They both look like near-perfect copies of real things, although there were a few red flags on their pages in the Google Play Store.
In this case, the application name is misspelled as “Teligram”. The company behind it is listed as “Warriordevelopers inc.” (another red flag) and it only has a few thousand reviews – compared to the millions of reviews for a real app. The fraudster also added “[NEW VERSION UPDATED]” to supposedly explain these differences, but that also looks sketchy and unprofessional.
However, if you weren’t paying attention and accidentally downloaded Teligram instead of Telegram, the actual app is indeed nearly identical. This is because the real service uses open source software, meaning anyone can modify it to make improvements or simply copy it entirely.
On this setup page, the only difference between real (left) and fake (right) is the word “Telegram” and the color of the button in the app. Otherwise, they are identical.
On the surface, however, these fake apps add additional malware. In this case, the only goal seems to be to show you additional earning opportunities. However, they can also potentially be used to gain access to your smartphone through the back door.
Symantec does not link to any of the fake applications it finds, and they have likely already been removed by Google. But given Telegram’s open source design, it is likely that we will see more pop-ups in the future, so it’s worth taking a look at.