Mobile phones have become part and parcel of everyday life. It is common to find young and older people using their phones to perform a lot more tasks beyond calling and texting which is often the primary purpose of buying a phone. In most cases, these activities are done through mobile applications that are downloaded into the phone and used to perform tasks in the most efficient way possible. Although the majority of the applications on app markets are from genuine sources some of them are set up by scammers to rip-off unsuspecting phone users.
How to detect scam mobile applications
Whether you own an Android or iPhone, you are a target for scam mobile apps. Fake apps put phone users in danger because as soon as they are downloaded, they have full access to your phone and personal information. Some of the apps are designed to perform specific tasks such as tracking your moves, recording passwords and even sending text messages without your consent. It is therefore essential to understand as much as possible about the apps to avoid them. Some of the simple ways to quickly identify scam mobile apps are listed below.
Website URL is the name of app
Legitimate mobile apps have a name which makes them easy to locate on app markets such as Google Play. In most cases, phone users will search for the name on the market and select it as soon as it shows up on the feed and then download it. In cases, where the name of the application is in the form of a website URL, it is likely fake with the primary aim being to attract curious phone users that want to download it and see what it offers resulting in hackers taking over your phone.
Grammatical errors in description
Majority of mobile apps have a description that gives a bit of information about the app and highlights some of its features. If the report is incomplete or has a lot of spelling errors, it is likely to be a scam. Additionally, an app whose description does not match its primary purpose should be a red flag to phone users.
Exaggerated shopping discounts
To attract as many clients as possible, scam apps always offer discounts and rewards to those that download it on their phone. However, most times the discounts are too good to be true when compared to similar applications. If you feel unsure of taking advantage of the offer offered by certain apps, it is advisable to avoid them as they may have been set up by scammers.
No mention of its release
Mobile apps that have grown to be popular over time have information about their date of release and changes made over time on a website or other online portals. Therefore, if you come across a mobile app that has no background information, it may have been set up by someone looking to defraud unsuspecting users.
6 tips on protecting your phone from scam apps
Mobile apps are numerous with most trying to get the attention of phone users with the aim of making their lives easier. Below are some simple but effective ways to keep your phone protected from scam mobile applications.
- Read reviews
Genuine mobile apps have lots of reviews from previous users making it easier for those coming across it for the first time to make an informed decision. Ensure that you read as many reviews as possible before downloading the app on the phone to enable you to make an informed decision. If the reviews on the app are repetitive and the English used is sloppy, it is likely that the app is a scam and should be avoided at all costs.
- Install an antivirus
Although most people invest in an antivirus for their computers, mobile phones also need one to ensure that information stored on it, is safe. It is essential to read through antivirus software reviews to enable you to select the best one for your phone and your budget. Majority of the antiviruses sold offer all-round protection on the phone making it easier to protect yourself from scam apps at all times. If possible, ask for referrals from family and friends on antiviruses they have used before and the level of protection they offer.
- Download from reputable developers
If you regularly download apps from various app markets, it important to stick to developers that have consistently been known to offer great apps. For those seeking to download apps for the first time, it is advisable to research on dependable developers for safety purposes. Check out other mobile apps they have worked on and confirm that they have an excellent rating and positive reviews of their work.
- Check on functionality
Although most mobile apps are designed to make life easier for phone users, it is vital that they be functional as well. Scam apps often cannot live up to the features listed in the description and are always acting up in one way or another. It is therefore important to keep an eye out for reviews on their functionality and make a decision after doing some research on the same.
- Apply for a refund
If you have downloaded a mobile app and then realize it’s a scam, it is important to report it to the app market and even request for a refund. Also, if you get a refund it is important to narrate your unpleasant experience to help protect others from the scam and hopefully get rid of them once and for all.
All in all, protection from scams targeted towards mobile phone users through apps is getting sophisticated and needs to be taken seriously. It is important to take time and learn the ins and outs of mobile apps so that you are not a victim of fraudulent activities. Individuals that can quickly decipher scam apps are assured of a stress-free interaction with any of them.