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There are a plethora of apps on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. While most of these apps are said to be reviewed by the individual platforms, malicious apps still manage to swoop in. Although Apple’s app ecosystem is considered to be safe because of stringent ‘developers’ verification process,’ it still contains fake apps. With the rise in the number of mobile users, miscreants have taken these platforms an easy bait to trick people. The issue has become prominent lately, with fake investment apps scam that tricked over 5 lakh Indians of over 150 crores.

As per reports, multiple financial investments schemes were carried over that assured people that they will high returns on the money they invested. Cyber Cell linked Delhi Police managed to trace down the syndicate run and revealed these malicious apps were run by Chinese nationals using Multilevel marketing (MLM) model for cheating. Anyesh Roy, Deputy Commissioner of police of Cyber Crime Cell (CyPAD) cited (via ANI report) that some of these apps were listed on Google Play Store. Cross-messaging platforms were taken as the key source to randomly contact people and procure details. Thankfully, the cybercriminals involved in the fake apps online scam have been arrested. But the question that arises is whether to rely on those ‘comprehensive’ security services provided by the tech giants.

While fake apps mimic the legitimate ones, it becomes difficult to distinguish them. But to save yourself from falling victim to such malicious attacks, you can follow a few simple tips that can help you identify fake apps on iOS and Android platforms. Here’s what you can do.

How to identify fake apps on Google Play Store and Apple App Store

Step 1: Check the app name and the developer who published the app on the app store.

Step 2: While searching for apps you may come across multiple apps with similar names, try to spot the errors like spelling mistakes in the name and description.

Step 3: Check the reviews, ratings, and download counts of the apps that you want to download either in Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

Step 4: Look at the publish date of the app. A real app usually shows an ‘updated on’ date.

Step 5: You can also check screenshots of an app. For instance, strange wordings and images will give you a fair idea of whether to trust the app or not.

Step 6: Another important factor to consider is the permissions an app is asking for. Third-party apps usually ask permission to contacts and storage. If an app is asking for access to the camera, audio, and more, it’s better to avoid granting permission.

Lastly, you can visit a store’s website in the browser and look for the option ‘Get our app,’ which will lead you to the respective app where you will be able to download the authentic app.