This Fake Alexa App Scammed Its Way to the Top of the App Store’s Charts

Amazon Echo Alexa Credit: George W. Bailey / Shutterstock
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Tis the season – for scams? New Amazon Echo owners looking to set up their devices were in for a bad surprise on Christmas morning.

An app for iOS called “Setup for Amazon Alexa” made its way onto Apple’s App Store, which pretended to be an official Amazon Alexa app.

The fraudulent app developed by One World Software duped enough people that it climbed to No. 60 on the Top Free apps section of Apple’s App Store.

According to users who downloaded the app, “Setup for Amazon Alexa” asked users to input their IP address and Amazon Echo serial number but did not work beyond that.

Users were left unable to complete the setup with many realizing that the app was a scam after multiple failed attempts.

The app seemed to be designed to keep users engaged long enough for them to be bombarded with ads, but many users still worried about their information being stolen.

Fake Alexa Setup
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While it doesn’t seem that stealing information was the developer’s original intent, users who downloaded the app remain at risk of having their personal information stolen if someone with malicious intent gained access to such data.

While the app has been removed from the App Store at the time of writing, there is still no information about how the developer got the app through Apple’s strict approval process.

However, this is not the first time that a deceitful developer has penetrated Apple’s line of defense.

Earlier this month, it was discovered that many Apple users had fallen prey to a scam that tricked them into making in-app purchases using the Touch ID function on their iPhones. According to reports, one of the scam apps were pulling about $80,000 a month before Apple took it down.

It is highly recommended to those who downloaded the app to uninstall “Setup for Amazon Alexa” and to warn anyone who might be setting up a new Amazon Echo device this holiday season.

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