Upon closer scrutiny you are bound to trace irregularities. As for instance, in case of fake WhatsApp app, though the name of the developer was visually identical, the app name was different and the scammers used ‘Update’ word with name of the app.
If you think for a minute you will understand that none of the original apps use the word update with name of their app.
In similar fashion, the fraud SwiftKey app was named Swift Keyboard. If you are not aware of the original app (SwiftKey) then it is possible that you will mistakenly believe that it is the original app and not something fake.
Moreover, name of the developer was given as Designer Superman while the original app was created by a company with the same name as name of the app.
Apart from checking name of the developer, what you can do is check other apps developed by the company.
All you will have to do is click on name of the developer to view all the apps company or developer has created so far. You may well find something suspicious on this list or something that’s just not right.
Step #3: Inspect Download Count
If it a popular app then it is going to have a lot of downloads with number of downloads going into millions or billions. In case, a popular app has just a few thousand installs then it will be a red flag.
Fake apps do not remain in Play Store for long and as such they cannot have downloads in millions or billions.
Step #4: Check the Screenshots and Description
In a fake app, the description will not be professional in any way, as for instance, it will have broken English and when you read the description you will feel as if a bot wrote the same.
On the other hand, genuine apps usually have clear and descriptive description which clearly explains what the app does and consists of text with clean formatting. The same is true for images posted for the fake app.
You are going to find that there is something wrong with the images, either the images are of very poor quality or you will find some errors in textual content provided in the images.
As for example, in fake SwiftKey listing the text in one of the screenshots was not something a popular app developer will put, Typing like flying Swift. This does not mean anything and should raise a red flag.
Step #5: Go Through the Reviews
Final thing to do will be to check the reviews posted by people who have installed the app. There will be fake reviews but you will also find reviews by people who came to know that it is a fake app and posted a review so that other people know about it.
What should I do if I do find a fake app?
If you stumble upon a fake app then you need to report the same to Google. All you will have to do click on the link at the bottom of the page which says – Flag as Inappropriate.
When you are using web version of the play store, you will reach the help page and here you will have to click on the link with the text – report inappropriate developer and fill out the form that comes up.
In the mobile version you will get several options after you click on the link for flagging an app as inappropriate. Here you will have to select the option that says copycat or impersonation and click on the submit button to complete the process.