Yesterday, an imposter app, posing to be WhatsApp was spotted on the Google Play Store. The app was named Update WhatsApp Messenger with developer name as WhatsApp Inc* . It has barely been 24 hours of the app being spotted, and it has over a million downloads already. Also Read - How to temporarily deactivate/permanently delete WhatsApp accountAlso Read - WhatsApp COVID-19 relief efforts: How you can get resources during the pandemic
To be fair, it is very easy to fall for the dupe app. The only difference between the original and the fake app is that the fake one has added a Unicode character space after the WhatsApp Inc. name. In a computer code the difference is more obvious it reads WhatsApp+Inc%C2%A0. But to average Android users browsing Google Play, that character space would be easy to miss. Also Read - Good news! Jio users can now check COVID-19 vaccine slots on WhatsApp - here's how
The fake app was spotted by a Reddit user just yesterday. If it isn t clear already, the dummy app was nothing close to a chat app, but served users with ads to download other apps. As Motherboard reported the app has been downloaded at least 1 million times till now. You should know, the original WhatsApp has 1 billion downloads. ALSO READ: WhatsApp was briefly down
The dummy app’s developer is apparently unknown, but the culprit later changed the name of the app to “Dual Whatsweb Update,” and removed the “WhatsApp Inc.” developer title. It has since been removed from Google Play.
“I can confirm that the app was removed from Google Play and the developer account was suspended for violating our program policies,” a Google spokesperson told PCMag.
Reportedly, there is also a fake version of popular mobile game Temple Run 2 making round on Google Play Store, which was uploaded on the platform in October. There is also one that has been posing as WhatsApp Business, which already has several users complaining about it in the comments section. ALSO READ: WhatsApp Delete for Everyone works even after 7-minute limit: Here s how