What are Scam Applications and How Not to Fall for Them?

The world runs on the internet, whether it's payments, browsing, business dealings, or personal use. With this advancement, scammers are also upgrading their ways of online attack. The new scam applications disguised as normal have become the latest trend.

What are Scam Applications and How Not to Fall for Them?

However, knowledge of scam applications, some safety tips, and caution can help you dodge them. So, please keep reading to learn everything about scam applications and how not to fall for them.

What are Scam Applications?

Cybercriminals and developers design scam applications that resemble legitimate apps. However, when the user downloads these applications, it contains malware that may steal your data.

The masterminds will reverse engineer or copy real apps and then infuse them with malicious code. For example, the BAWAG scam app, it was the copy of a prominent financial institution that asked for "accessibility services'' after downloading the app.

When the users grant permission, the app reads the screen and mimics user interaction. Therefore, the consent makes it tough for the user to uninstall the app. Moreover, the permission grant makes your data, identity, and other activities vulnerable.

Apart from this, there have been many scenarios of scam apps that look identical to usual apps but have various forms of malicious elements. Therefore, your priority must be safeguarding your device by protecting its information and avoiding these apps.

Tips to Not Fall for Scam Applications

Here are some tips which can save you from scam applications:


If you want to stay safe while downloading an app and check whether it's legitimate, you can use the fastest VPN for your console that can bring better experience. In addition, they mask your IP address and help you from data theft.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a secure network connection. To accomplish this, it encrypts your internet traffic and masks your online identity, making it tough for third parties to see or use your data. In addition, it limits access to location and other activities, which is beneficial if you have a compromised app. So, downloading and using suspected apps on VPN is highly recommended.

Don't Trust Third-Party Sources

Many third-party sources have lucrative offers, bonuses, free claims, etc. While they may feel tempting, it's best to avoid these sources. Therefore, you must remember to download and use legit apps.

Some of the steps which can help you stay mindful while downloading apps are:

  • Try your best to download apps from official Google or Apple app stores.
  • Don't download apps from suspected online stores, third parties, or other sources.
  • Always read the reviews of the app
  • Ensure quick background research of the app before downloading
  • Always go through the permissions it's asking for.

Although the apps from official app stores also have scam apps, the app has to go before rigorous approval, which makes them safe. Also, the authentic stores remove and warn about the suspected apps from time to time.

Never Click on Links in Email and Messages for App Download

A survey showed that the older the victims, the more money they lose from scams. The reasons are not updating yourself with new scam strategies.

In the same way, scam apps downloaded through SMS and email links are trending a lot. A message from a bank, credit card company, or other reputed companies will have links to download their app. These apps can be scams. So, never follow the links on SMS and emails. Instead, check the apps on the genuine app stores.

Look for Important and Common Mistakes

Some loopholes exist no matter how scammers disguise their apps as real ones. You can quickly check to protect yourself and your device from malicious apps.

Some of the most serious and common mistakes you should look for are:

  • Grammar mistakes, generally, scam apps have typos and other errors.
  • They mimic the app's logo, but it still has some flaws.
  • The reference screenshots are low-quality or distorted.
  • Always go through the release date. The most authentic apps have been on the market for a while. So, if you see an app whose release date is recent, it can be a scam too.
  • Always check the download count. It should be safe if it has a million or lakh of downloads.
  • Check its update frequency. It must be high as it signifies a well-protected app.
  • Research the developer as scammers try to mimic the name of the original developer by mentioning the initials of the name.

Closing Lines

There are new scams now and then, like Kelkong, a scam or legit online store and its controversy. But there are many more ways to disguise online elements as something normal. The scammers are coming up with upgraded ways, and it's important to stay aware. So, always pay attention to what you download and use safe apps.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • Identitytheft.gov: If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at www.identitytheft.gov. This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

What are Scam Applications and How Not to Fall for Them?