Blog post · WCC

Paying too much for mobile applications?

Here is probable reason for that: The Potentially Unwanted Applications at various appstores. What happens?Nothing new in the first place.  Every little helps, as we know it.Clever guys found out that creating and selling “useful” mobile applications around fancy themes like crypto currencies, NFTs, ChatGPT, etc. can give them a cashcow by unsuspected buyer. How […]

Jul 1, 2023

Here is probable reason for that: The Potentially Unwanted Applications at various appstores.

What happens?
Nothing new in the first place.  Every little helps, as we know it.
Clever guys found out that creating and selling “useful” mobile applications around fancy themes like crypto currencies, NFTs, ChatGPT, etc. can give them a cashcow by unsuspected buyer.

How is this possible?
The appstore providers only check the applications for technical security, but not for the security of the potential buyer’s wallet. Users don’t check everything before buying things.

How does it work?
Let’s say that you (or someone using your appstore account, meaning your money) want to try something new.. ChatGPT is new, let us search for it. We go to an App Store and search for it, and we find a myriad of applications which are about ChatGPT. There are (TikTok) videos to hype the product. Usually there is a trial version which lasts only for a couple of days. After it you must pay a monthly or weekly fee for using this software and this is where you can pay a lot of money.

How can we make sure that you are not using a unwanted software?

There are telltale signs that something is wrong here.

Sometimes these applications don’t even have the proper name of ChatGPT. There are names like “ChatGBT” or something similar. Many cases they say that these are “Official ChatGPT” apps. Technically, some of them have nothing to do with ChatGPT, some are using older versions of it, some are using something else.

Is the name of the advertised software the same as what you downloaded from the appstore? Sometimes it is very different and its not by accident.

Are there any in-app purchases? Check it too and think a bit. Why is that?

The application gives you only a very short trial period.

The user feedbacks are divided between very good (5 star) and very bad (1 star). Nothing between. The bad feedbacks are talking about useless software and other issues.

The existence of the TikTok videos can be a sign too. The videos usually say that the app is free. But you must enrol for the paid version at the beginning. They make it hard (or impossible) to use the trial version without enrolling in the free trial and agreeing to pay for it when the trial is over.

During use the actual answers (what you really want to see) are very limited. Only a few line or a certain number of responses per day.

Lots of pop-up advertising about to buy the full subscription.

You are asked right away to review the app and before even you had a chance to try it.

The software wants to check or track all other activities on your phone by all other apps and websites you visit. Actually, this is very bad from any software.

The way out of this?

You must unsubscribe from this software first and then check all your subscription at your account of the appstore to make sure that you don’t pay more than you wanted. It is good practice anyway, especially if someone else can spend your money here.

Good news?

There are well established and filtered apps there as well. But you must do your homework.

About the Author

Jozsef worked as a CISO in a central hospital and in a school district. He is the founder and owner of Torotoro Ltd. He holds the following certifications: Security+ - CompTIA - 2023 Security Consultant - Ministry of Justice NZ - 2023 Certified Cyber Security Professional – Google – 2023 NZPA – NZ Privacy Commissioner – 2022 OPSWAT Certified Cyber Security Associate – OPSWAT – 2022 OSINT training – European Security Academy – 2021 Fortinet NSE – Fortinet - 2020 Virtual Agile Teams – IIL/PMI – 2020 ISO 27001 Lead Auditor – TÜV Rheinland InterCert Germany – 2019 NZQE recognized Level 7 General Informatics Diploma - 1996

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