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.
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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