I have been warning you about the dangers posed by phony apps for more than three years.  Recently numerous sources have been reporting about phony apps turning up in the Apple App Store. While everyone should recognize the risk of downloading apps from unofficial sources, it has generally been believed that you are safe downloading an app from legitimate sources such as the Apple App Store or Google Play where apps are vetted before being made available to the public.  However, it appears that lately there has been an increase in dangerous phony apps appearing in the Apple App Store and Google Play with most of them originating in China. One of the recent phony apps appearing on the App store is a iOS heart rate monitor app that had previously been removed from the App store when the scam was initially recognized.  The app claims to use the fingerprint Touch ID scanner found on some iPhones to measure your pulse.  However what it actually does is use your fingerprint to approve an in-app purchase of $89.  A recent report done by Apps Exposed found more than 500 phony apps on the App Store performing similar scams.  Many of these phony apps raise their app scores with fake five-star reviews.

TIPS

It is still a good idea to limit your downloading of apps to legitimate sources such as the Apple App Store and Google Play to avoid malware infected apps.  However phony apps will get by the vetting process for the Apple App Store and Google Play so you cannot totally trust an app to be legitimate merely because it appears in one of those two places.  Apps Exposed maintains a list of phony apps which you can check here.  https://appsexposed.home.blog     Before downloading any app, read the reviews carefully.  While scammers will write glowing phony reviews about their apps to increase their rating, their reviews are usually cursory and do not provide much information.  In addition, to protect yourself,  make sure that you have installed security software on your phone and that it is updated with the latest security patches.

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