ChatGPT has revolutionized the AI industry in the last few months. The chatbot is now used by millions of users worldwide for their daily-life queries and work-related problems. After launching a website version of the chatbot in November 2022, OpenAI finally released an app version of ChatGPT last week, to provide better accessibility to users.
The app is currently only available in the US for iOS users. However, a number of clone apps have now surfaced on the app store and play store, leaving users confused. Some of these fake ChatGPT apps can collect your phone data and can even mint money by defrauding you. So how can you spot fake ChatGPT platforms? Read on to find out.
Fake ChatGPT Apps Make Way to App Stores
Ever since the launch of the official ChatGPT app, a number of clones have been spotted on the app stores. These replicas are categorized as ‘fleeceware’ which come up with hidden subscription charges. One such example is ChatOn, which claims to be powered by GPT-4 but starts charging users after one free conversation.
Another app, ChatGBT, just altered an alphabet from the official app and lured users to pay a $10 subscription fee per month after a three-day free trial. Then there is Genie, which also claims to be working on GPT-4 but charges a fee and often comes up with wrong responses.
How to Spot Fake ChatGPT Apps?
In order to protect your privacy, and avoid getting charged a subscription fee by fake ChatGPT platforms, you can use the following steps to spot the clones apps:
- Check for app permissions: To see if the app is authentic or not, check out the permissions being asked by it on the phone. If the app needs access to your personal details like contacts or messages, it is probably a fake app.
- Check the developers: ChatGPT has been launched by OpenAI. So make sure you only download the app created by the OpenAI developer.
- Check out the reviews: Another important step is to check out the reviews for the app on the store. Sometimes, the app will have a high rating but when you read the detailed reviews by the public, you find out they have been duped. So make sure to find out what other users have written about the app before downloading it.
Meanwhile, you can always use the web version of ChatGPT or other popular AI platforms like Google’s Bard, or Microsoft’s Bing Chat, instead of the fake GPT apps for your daily work.
Cybersecurity Experts Warn Against Fake ChatGPT Apps
A number of experts have warned against the use and download of fake ChatGPT apps. Sean Gallagher, an expert at security software company Sophos explained, “Scammers have and always will use the latest trends or technology to line their pockets. ChatGPT is no exception.”
“With interest in AI and chatbots arguably at an all-time high, users are turning to the Apple App and Google Play Stores to download anything that resembles ChatGPT. These types of scam apps—what Sophos has dubbed ‘fleeceware’—often bombard users with ads until they sign up for a subscription.”
“They’re banking on the fact that users won’t pay attention to the cost or simply forget that they have this subscription. They’re specifically designed so that they may not get much use after the free trial ends, so users delete the app without realizing they’re still on the hook for a monthly or weekly payment.”
So go ahead and remove any fake ChatGPT apps that you might have downloaded mistakenly. And stay tuned for more news and updates.