4 Tricks To Spot A Fake App Vs. A Real App In The App Store

Mobile Phone
Source: Techthirsty.com

With millions of apps available in the App Store, it can be a daunting task to determine which ones are legitimate and which are fake. Fake apps not only waste your time and money but can also pose a threat to your device’s security. So how can you spot a fake app amidst the sea of options? In this article, we will provide you with four tricks to help you distinguish between a real app and a fake one. Whether you are looking for games, productivity tools, or social media applications, these tips will empower you to make smarter decisions while browsing the App Store. So, let’s dive in and learn how to stay safe and secure when downloading apps on your mobile device.

Inside This Article

  1. Trick 1: Check the App Developer
  2. Trick 2: Read the App Reviews and Ratings
  3. Trick 3: Verify the App Permissions
  4. Trick 4: Look for Official App Store Badges or Logos
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs

Trick 1: Check the App Developer

When it comes to distinguishing between a fake app and a real app in the App Store, one of the most important tricks is to check the app developer. The developer plays a crucial role in determining the legitimacy and trustworthiness of the app. Here are some key steps to follow:

  1. Research the App Developer: Start by researching the app developer’s reputation. Look for information about their background, previous apps they have developed, and any reviews or feedback from users. A reputable developer will have a track record of creating reliable and credible apps.
  2. Verify the Developer’s Website: Check if the app developer has an official website. A legitimate developer will typically have a website that provides information about their apps, contact details, and support resources. Be cautious if there is no official website or if the website lacks essential information.
  3. Check for Contact Information: Legitimate app developers will provide clear and accessible contact information, such as an email address or customer support hotline. Verify if this information is readily available through the app or the developer’s website. If you can’t find any contact information or if it seems suspicious, it could be a red flag indicating a fake app.
  4. Look for Developer Certifications: Some developers may have certifications or partnerships with reputable organizations, such as Apple or Google. These certifications demonstrate the developer’s commitment to quality and security standards. Check for any badges or logos indicating these certifications within the app or on the developer’s website.

By thoroughly investigating the app developer, you can significantly reduce the chances of downloading a fake or malicious app. Remember, reputable developers prioritize the experience and security of their users.

Trick 2: Read the App Reviews and Ratings

When it comes to distinguishing between a fake app and a real app in the App Store, reading the app reviews and ratings can be a valuable trick. User reviews provide invaluable insights into the app’s performance, features, and user experience. By analyzing the feedback left by other users, you can make an informed decision about whether the app is genuine or fraudulent.

Start by skimming through the app reviews and look for any common patterns or recurring complaints. If you notice a significant number of negative reviews mentioning issues like crashes, slow performance, or suspicious behavior, it could be an indication of a fake app.

On the other hand, if you come across a large number of positive reviews praising the app’s functionality, reliability, and usability, it is more likely to be a genuine app. Genuine apps generally have a higher average rating and positive reviews from satisfied users.

However, it’s essential to approach app reviews with some skepticism. Some fake app developers may resort to posting fake positive reviews themselves to deceive users. In such cases, you should be on the lookout for overly generic or suspiciously similar reviews. Multiple reviews using identical language or exhibiting a lack of genuine user experiences can raise red flags.

Furthermore, take note of the dates of the reviews. If you find that most of the positive reviews were posted around the same time or have a similar language pattern, it could be an indication of artificially inflated ratings. Genuine reviews tend to be spread out over time and reflect a varied range of user experiences.

Another aspect to consider is the overall rating of the app. While a high rating doesn’t guarantee the app’s authenticity, a very low or suspiciously high rating should raise concerns. An excessively high rating could be a result of manipulated reviews, while a very low rating may indicate a poor-quality or fraudulent app.

Trick 3: Verify the App Permissions

When downloading and installing an app from the app store, it’s essential to be aware of the permissions it requests. App permissions are the privileges an app asks for in order to access certain features or data on your device. This can include access to your camera, microphone, contacts, location, and more. Verifying the app permissions is a crucial step in determining the authenticity of an app.

One way to identify a fake app is by examining the permissions it requires. A legitimate app will typically request permissions that align with its functionality. For example, a photo editing app may need access to your camera and photo gallery. If you come across a flashlight app that asks for unnecessary permissions like access to your contacts or location, it could be a red flag indicating a potentially fake app.

When reviewing the app permissions, it’s important to consider whether they make sense in the context of the app’s purpose. Be cautious if an app requires permissions that have no logical connection to its intended functionality. This could be an indication that the app is attempting to collect unnecessary data or engage in suspicious activities.

Another aspect to consider is the extent of the permissions being requested. If an app asks for an excessive number of permissions that seem unrelated or go beyond what is necessary for its intended use, it’s worth being skeptical. Legitimate developers typically strive to minimize the permissions their apps require and only request what is essential for providing the intended features and services.

Additionally, take note of any warnings or alerts that may accompany the app permissions. Sometimes, the app store will display a message informing users that certain permissions can potentially compromise their privacy or security. It’s important to carefully read and understand these alerts before proceeding with the app installation.

Verifying the app permissions is a powerful tool to differentiate between a real app and a fake one. By paying attention to the permissions requested and ensuring they align with the app’s functionality and purpose, you can safeguard your personal information and minimize the risk of downloading fraudulent or malicious apps.

Trick 4: Look for Official App Store Badges or Logos

When trying to determine whether an app in the App Store is genuine or fake, one effective trick is to look for official App Store badges or logos. These badges or logos serve as a visual confirmation that the app has passed Apple’s rigorous review process and is considered legitimate. Here’s why checking for these badges or logos can help you spot a fake app:

1. Trustworthiness: Official App Store badges or logos demonstrate that the app has been approved by Apple, instilling confidence in its authenticity. These badges indicate that the app has met Apple’s guidelines, including security and privacy requirements.

2. Verification: The presence of an official App Store badge or logo suggests that the app is not a counterfeit or a clone. Fake apps often lack proper authorization, so if you cannot find an official badge or logo, it may be a red flag that the app is not genuine.

3. Consistency: Apple’s App Store has specific guidelines for displaying badges or logos, such as their size, placement, and design. By verifying that the app follows these guidelines, you can be more confident in its legitimacy.

4. Prevention of Malware: Apple’s review process is designed to identify and reject apps that contain malicious code or pose a security risk to users. The presence of an official App Store badge or logo suggests that the app has undergone this thorough review and is less likely to be compromised.

It’s important to note that while official badges or logos can provide a level of assurance, they are not foolproof. Some scammers may attempt to imitate these badges or logos to deceive users. Therefore, it’s crucial to combine this trick with other verification methods to ensure you are downloading a genuine app.

In conclusion, being able to identify fake apps from real ones is essential for ensuring the security and functionality of your mobile device. By implementing the tricks mentioned in this article, users can protect themselves from potential cybersecurity threats and avoid wasting time and money on fraudulent apps. Remember to carefully review the app’s publisher, ratings, reviews, and permissions before downloading any application. Additionally, always opt for official app stores, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, to minimize the risk of encountering fake apps. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and enjoy a safer and more enjoyable mobile app experience.


Q: How can I differentiate between a fake app and a real app in the App Store?

A: Differentiating between a fake app and a real app in the App Store can be challenging, but there are a few tricks you can use. First, check the developer’s name and reputation. Established developers with a good track record are more likely to release genuine apps. Second, review the app’s ratings and reviews. If there are numerous negative reviews or suspiciously positive reviews, it may be a red flag. Additionally, analyze the app’s description and screenshots for any inconsistencies or poor quality elements.

Q: Can I rely on the app’s download count as an indicator of its authenticity?

A: While the download count can be a valuable metric, it is not a foolproof indicator of an app’s authenticity. Some fake apps use fake downloads to boost their credibility. It’s essential to consider other factors, such as the app’s reviews, ratings, and developer’s credibility, to make an informed decision.

Q: Are there any specific security features I should look for in a genuine app?

A: Absolutely! Genuine apps often come with specific security features. Look for features like two-factor authentication, encrypted data transmission, and privacy settings that allow you to control the app’s access to your personal information. Additionally, genuine apps usually have regular updates to address security vulnerabilities and bug fixes.

Q: Are there any external resources I can use to verify the authenticity of an app?

A: Yes, several external resources can help verify the authenticity of an app. For iOS apps, you can check the developer’s website or social media profiles to confirm their legitimacy. Additionally, websites like AppAdvice and AppStoreReview can provide in-depth reviews and ratings to help you make an informed decision.

Q: What should I do if I suspect an app in the App Store is fake?

A: If you suspect that an app in the App Store is fake, you should report it to Apple immediately. Go to the app’s listing in the App Store and scroll down to find the “Developer Website” or “Support” link. Click on the link and look for options to report the app directly to Apple. They will investigate and take appropriate action if necessary.