From fraudulantly charging your credit card to spying on you via your mobile device, fake apps pose plenty of dangers to consumers. Here we look at ways you can protect yourself from pretenders masquerading as Hollywoodbets on various app stores.
Smartphones and mobile applications have made our lives infinitely easier over the last decade-and-a-half. There are legitimate apps for everything nowadays. Whether you’re looking to make a chicken cordon bleu or on the hunt for a marathon training programme, there are a number of high-quality apps available in your app store that can help you.
In the early days of the smartphone era, there were even apps to turn your camera’s flash into a torch. Of course, this was long before the feature came standard with most devices.
However, as smartphone use has grown exponentially over the last couple of years, so too has the number of fake/malicious apps found on various stores. Here we’ll look at ways you can protect yourself from the dangers posed by these applications.
What are fake apps?
Fake apps a carefully designed to trick you into believing that they are from a legitimate publisher. Once downloaded and installed, they can be used to perform any number of malicious activities including the installation of malware, displaying annoying ads and even stealing your personal information.
Unfortunately, many of these fake apps find their way into official Google, iOS and Huawei app stores and can remain there for months before being taken down.
How to spot a fake app
Some fake apps are obviously harder to spot than others. Having said that, there are a few red flags you can look out for to help you make more informed decisions.
First up, let’s take a look at some fake Hollywoodbets apps from the iOS Store as well as Android’s Play Store.
There are other things you can look out for as well when it comes to fake apps:
- Check the reviews
Reading reviews is on of the first lines of defence against a dodgy app. Tons of users complaining about functionality and quality? That’s a red flag, and you should probably steer clear. However, hundreds of overly-gushy positive reviews is often a sign indicative of ‘review buying’. This occurs when a developer enlists the services of a supplier to leave a flood of positive reviews. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Keep an eye out for language/grammar mistakes
Most legitimate publishers will take great care to ensure that their apps and the accompanying copy contain no issues or errors. The quickest way to spot a fake app is to scan through the app’s description and name looking out for any obvious errors. If errors of this nature are present, the app is probably fake.
- Check out the app details
Look at the detailed list of data that the app collects. A betting app, for example, should not need access to your contacts list. Always check your app permissions in your phone’s settings to ensure that the software is not attempting to access anything you’re uncomfortable with. Think about it this way: it makes sense for Google Maps to need access to your location and Instagram to require access to your camera or photos. Does a betting app really need to access this kind of data?
The dangers of fake apps
Yes, there are some fake apps out there that are harmless. However, majority of these pieces of software pose a host of dangers including:
- Ad bots: These exist to serve you a ton of unwanted adverts in order to generate ad revenue.
- Phishing: A fake app, for example, designed to look exactly like your banking/betting app can trick you into entering your login credentials, sending this data to an attacker who can use it to access your account/s.
- Billing fraud: Fake apps can make charges against your credit card without your consent.
- Ransomware: Ransomware, as the name suggests, essentially holds your data hostage through encryption. Typically, your phone will be locked until you pay a ‘ransom’ fee to the attackers.
- Spyware: Spyware gathers personal data on your device and distributes it to attackers. This data can be sold off to other parties.
- Spam: Fake apps can send out irritating messages and other spam to your contacts.
Does Hollywoodbets South Africa have a mobile app?
No! Hollywoodbets South Africa doesn’t have a mobile app… yet. However, this is something that we’re working on delivering. That means that any Hollywoodbets-flavoured apps you see on the current iOS, Google Play and Huawei App Stores are all fake.
Once we do release our app, you’ll hear it on our social media platforms and our blog first. You can also reach out to our Helpline Team on 087 353 7634 or [email protected]