Reliance Jio, the largest 4G network in India, announced Jio Coin last month. This news spread like wild fire and received a ton of media coverage.
But it also received the attention of several Android developers. These developers are pushing new apps in the Google Play Store with a slight twist:
They are naming it after Jio Coin. At the time of writing this article, I have found over 34 apps labelled as Jio Coin:
Why Create Fake Apps?
By selecting a trending topic, like Jio Coin, it is easy to gain traction. In fact, the first app (from the screenshot above) has 10,000 to 50,000 downloads.
Few of these apps offer information related to Jio. Others are task-based rewarding apps, in which you have to complete a task to receive a reward. Then a handful of them are manufactured to steal your information.
Probably that is why you will find several single star ratings on these apps:
Economic Times reported 22 fake apps, yet the number of these fake Jio Coin apps are increasing with time. It is important not to ignore this piece of crucial information:
“The most downloaded apps with Jio Coin in their name require the user to give permission for finding accounts on the device, finding contacts, sharing precise location access to modify or delete photos and other files, receiving data from the Internet, viewing network connections, running at startup, controlling vibration, providing full network access, and preventing the device from sleeping. That is a long list of potentially dangerous permissions.”
If you have installed any of these fake apps promising free Jio Coins, it is best to uninstall them right away.
On a side note, RiskIQ — a cybersecurity firm — recently evaluated 18000 cryptocurrency apps. They found 660 of them tricking users into sharing their personal information.
Our advice: avoid such malicious apps. After all, there’s no free lunch!