Sometimes, if you think you have heard everything about Internet fraud, you receive an info about a new scam and this time it hits the users of Google Play. The Google Play reviews are one of the most important information an Android user can get about an app he or she is going to download and I'm not different at all. If an app has 4 or 5 stars and a couple of good comments, I consider to download and even to purchase it. Also it's often recommended to pay close attention to Google Play reviews since this is, thanks to "swarm intelligence", the best method to protect yourself from fraudulent apps which might be malware. And what are resourceful racketeers doing? They offer small and independent developers to rate their apps positive - for money!
I've just received such an offer from a developer who recently put a (free) app in Google Play. Not long after, he received such a dubious offer that the E-Mail sender can arrange that the app is rated with over one hundred five star reviews!
For us, the end user it means that another mechanism, to protect us from bad, boring and even harmful apps became more irrelevant; but also making it even harder for honest newcomers and independent apps developers to spread their apps because who can trust the reviews in the market place now?
Are you also an Android, iOS or Windows Phone developer and have received similar offers? Please contact us and let us know.
Cheers ~ Arne