• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
iPhone  header logo

 IPHONE NEWS

How to spot a scam on the App Store

iOS versions of Halo 4, Far Cry, God of War, and Shinobi are all fakes

Product: App Store | Manufacturer: Apple
 
App Store iPhone, thumbnail 1
If an app on iTunes looks too good to be true, that's probably because it is.

Sorry, folks, but you can't really get Far Cry 3, Halo 4, God of War, or Shinobi on your iPhone. Nope, these are just the latest in a long line of counterfeit games to surface on the App Store.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to sniff out a scam, and separate truth from fiction. Keep these in mind while you browse those virtual shop selves, okay. Better to be safe than, well, broke.

If you've been suckered by a scam, though, all is not lost. Read our feature on how to request a refund from Apple for a step-by-step guide to getting your money back from the Cupertino-based tech giant.

Check the file size

One surefire way to sniff out a scam is to check the size of the app. Remember that your typical big flashy console-like iOS game requires anywhere from 500MB to 2GB of space on your iOS device.

Scam app

So, if a developer promises to put the whole of Halo 4 on your iPad and only take up 6.6MB of storage space - the equivalent of a few MP3 files - doing so, then you know that something is up.

Check the developer

Believe it or not, 'Hai Dinh Thi Thanh' is not a licensed developer of the God of War franchise. If you look at the developer's or publisher's name, you'll often spot something that sounds a bit off.

Sometimes, though, these cheeky fraudsters will use fake publisher details to throw you off the scent. This God of War fake is apparently published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Even though it definitely isn't.

A good tip, then: don't just assume that a game is legit even if it appears to have been published by the 'right' studio.

Check the customer reviews

If someone's bought a scam app and wasted his pocket money on a piece of crap, you can be darn sure he'll want to tell the world all about it in the game's customer reviews section.

Scam apps

Have a look and hunt for telltale signs like "this is a scam", "give me my money back", and "if I ever find the guy who made this game, I'm going to use his testicles as conkers".

You will probably see some positive (if poorly spelled) comments in there, too. The scammer will have roped in some of his morally dubious pals to leave nice comments and try to trick you, you see.

Check the developer's other games

The Far Cry series is made by Ubisoft, right?

So, why can't I find Ubisoft's mobile games - like Rayman Jungle Run - when I look at the Far Cry Black developer's other games?

Oh, that's right: because it's a great big ball of lies.

Check the screenshots

Those lovely too-good-to-be-true screenshots are likely the only reason you'd even consider buying a fraudulent app. Luckily, there's an easy way to check the validity of these screens.

Open the game's App Store page in your web browser, right-click on a screenshot, choose something like "Copy URL", and then head to Google Images. You'll find a blue camera icon on the search bar. Click this to search by image.

Scam apps

If you pop in the URL, Google will show you where that picture originated.

If you find it's just some promotional screenshot for the real game (or, perhaps, a completely different game), you know it's a bogus app.
 

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 21 December 2012
Have your say! Related stories  
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Dec 2012
Post count:
1
@_komaz | 17:08 - 27 December 2012
Isn't it illegal? How do these applications pass premoderation and why these applications still not removed? Wrote to support couple of days ago, no answer
Joined:
Nov 2011
Post count:
401
mr_bez | 00:52 - 22 December 2012
The worst thing is that you can't even report these scam apps to Apple.

Noticed a blatant Canabalt ripoff recently - screenshots, icon
and description were copied exactly from the original, but there's no 'Report' option on the App Store. Eventually emailed the Canabalt dev and he had to report it.
Joined:
Aug 2012
Post count:
37
Kbrpilot | 20:39 - 21 December 2012
Very good article. One of my personal rules is also not to buy games where they don't show any pictures of it. These might not necessarily be scams but unless it's something graphicless, like a text adventure etc, do you really want to buy a game that the developers are even too ashamed of to show how it looks? Hopefully most adults have enough common sense to avoid these scams, but parents should make sure their kids know this stuff too.
Joined:
Oct 2012
Post count:
12
Shahin Mastafa | 19:31 - 21 December 2012
Yeah I've noticed these scam apps too.
Joined:
Dec 2012
Post count:
46
Brian Boulnois | 17:07 - 21 December 2012
Its more common sense would you really expect to see a BIG console game with the graphics to match on IOS? Yes i own both a iphone and ipad but i even i know they wont come close to a console machine thats built to play console games
Joined:
Oct 2012
Post count:
3
@MGaceman | 15:03 - 21 December 2012
Funny that you should do an article about this, I noticed a 'Populous' app available on the App Store which apparently turns out to be some crappy 'bounce a raft off bunnys heads' game instead!
POPULAR STORIES
LATEST COMMENTS
LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS VIDEO REVIEWS