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Over 1 million Android users downloaded fake WhatsApp app

Over 1 million Android users downloaded fake WhatsApp app

Scammers tricked over 1 million Android users into downloading a fake version of the popular messaging app WhatsApp pretending to be the official one. The app, now deleted, was called “Update WhatsApp” available on official Google Play Store.

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.

Over 1 million Android users downloaded fake WhatsApp app
Fake WhatsApp (Credit: Reddit and Google Play Store)

Although the app has been removed, it is unclear if it infected users with malware or only generated ads through spam. It, however, shows that Android users do not pay attention while downloading an app. That is why cybercriminals and scammers are always successful in targeting Android-based smartphones with malware and other online scams.

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.

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