One of the biggest differences between Android and iOS ecosystems, when it comes to security, is the level of scrutiny applications need to face before being listed on their online app stores. While Google continues to keep taking steps like Play Protect to improve in this department, the Play Store is brimmed with fake apps.On Play Store, there are tons of apps that whose developers are employing foul practices to gain downloads. One particular app, named “Update WhatsApp,” mimicked WhatsApp to trick users by making them believe that they were updating an existing application.
Different users on Reddit and Twitter pointed out that instead of being a chat app, Update WhatsApp was an ad-scrapper app that aimed to earn clicks and fraudulent revenue.
Later, according to Motherboard, the app’s developer changed its name to “Dual Whatsweb Update” and changed its icon. Further down the line, the app was removed from Google Play, and the developer account was suspended for violating the policies.
It’s very easy to fall for the fake app. The only difference between the name of the developer of a real and fake app is some Unicode character. While on a PC the difference becomes obvious, but the Android users become easy targets.
While this particular one app might have been removed from Play Store, a number of other apps continue to exist (see picture at the top). So, users are advised to be more cautious while downloading apps.