Beware of fake ChatGPT apps! Fraudsters raking in massive sums of money

Fake ChatGPT apps have stolen huge amounts of money from users in the last few months. This is what you should do.

| Updated on: May 18 2023, 09:38 IST
Beware of fake ChatGPT apps! Already downloaded? Delete now
1/6 OpenAI's ChatGPT portal is rapidly gaining popularity. It uses state-of-the-art language processing techniques to generate human-like responses to text input and  interacts conversationally with users to provide detailed answers on a wide range of topics.  (Bloomberg)
2/6 But if you are looking to download the app from your Google Play Store or App Store, then beware! There are several fake ChatGPT-like apps that can be dangerous for your device.  (Bloomberg)
3/6 You can find a bunch of fake ChatGPT apps on Google Play Store and App Store which can steal your data, a report by top10vpn revealed.  Hence, if you have already downloaded them, then you should hurry and delete them quickly. (REUTERS)
4/6 Some of these apps on Android are: AI Chat Companion, ChatGPT 3: ChatGPT AI, Talk GPT – Talk to ChatGPT, ChatGPT AI Writing Assistant, Open Chat – AI Chatbot App. (Bloomberg)
5/6 Some apps are also available on Apple's App Store, which include: Genie - GPT AI Assistant, Write For Me GPT AI Assistant, ChatGPT - GPT 3, Alfred - Chat with GPT 3, Chat w. GPT AI - Write This, ChatGPT - AI Writing apps, Wiz AI Chat Bot Writing Helper, Chat AI: Personal AI Assistant, and Wisdom Ai - Your AI Assistant.  (AFP)
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6/6 However, it must be noted that OpenAI does not have an official standalone app for ChatGPT. Hence, you can use the feature in your browser while login to the official website at  (AP)
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Hundreds of fake ChatGPT apps have emerged on the Google Play Store. (Unsplash)

ChatGPT has seen a meteoric rise since its launch in November 2022. It soon became the fastest-growing app of all time by reaching 100 million users in just 2 months, a feat that took even TikTok 9 months to achieve. But this accomplishment has also led to fake apps emerging with the promise of offering ChatGPT services to users but instead installing malware onto devices and infecting them with data or money-stealing malware. Since OpenAI does not have any standalone ChatGPT app for mobile devices, users can easily mistake hundreds of fake apps on Google Play Store as the official ChatGPT app.

We have reported several such apps and their dangers in the past, but now a new report has shed light on different fake ChatGPT apps which do not install any malware, but force the users into spending their hard-earned money.

Fake ChatGPT apps

A new report from cybersecurity firm Sophos reveals that these fake ChatGPT apps are known as ‘Fleeceware'. Instead of installing harmful software onto mobile devices, these apps bombard the phones with ads until users sign up for a premium subscription to the app, which of course, is phoney.

The report states that these apps “push the user toward enrolling in a short free trial that converts to a high recurring subscription charge to rake in money from unsuspecting users. They use intrusive advertising and other features to make the free version barely useable and to push the user toward the subscription.”

Although we know that the Google Play Store and the App Store have stringent policies to prevent such apps from being on the platforms, developers are smart enough to “stay on the edge of What's allowed by Google and Apple in terms of service.” Thus, most of these apps circumvent the app store policy restrictions to come on board.

So, if you have any of the fake ChatGPT apps installed, we'd advise you to delete them as soon as possible.

Raking in money

Although it might seem like people are now aware of fake apps in today's digital world, the numbers say otherwise. According to Tom's Guide, one of these fake ChatGPT apps on the App Store is named Ask AI Assistant which charges $312 a year or $6 a week after its trial ends. According to a report, this app brought in almost $10,000 in March this year.

According to a SensorTower report, another fleeceware app brought in a staggering $1 million over the past month, all from victims who have been fooled into purchasing phoney subscriptions.

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First Published Date: 18 May, 09:37 IST