The recent TikTok app ban has provided scammers with a golden opportunity. Scammers have now come up with an app called 'TikTok Pro'. It is a fake app used to obtain personal information of users.
The Indian government had recently banned 59 Chinese apps over increased cross border tensions between the two countries following the Galwan Valley incident in which 20 Indian soldiers had lost their lives. TikTok was one of the apps that were banned.
Over 200 million Indians were using TikTok before it was banned. Users are now exploring other short-video sharing platforms to fill the hole left by TikTok. Scammers are exploiting this by publishing fake apps that appear as alternatives to TikTok.
Several users on Twitter had reported that they have received an SMS or a WhatsApp message form anonymous numbers asking them to download 'TikTok Pro' The app is being pitched by scammers as an updated version of TikTok that allows users to make and share short videos just like its namesake.
Telangana State Police's official Twitter account posted a screenshot of the message. The police have warned users to be aware of such messages and stay alert.
Beware of Cyber crimes & Be Alert! pic.twitter.com/0BYTPcZ194- Telangana State Police (@TelanganaCOPs) July 7, 2020
"Enjoy Tiktok Videos and also make Create Videos again. Now TikTok is only Available in (TikTok pro) So Download from below." This message is followed by a link that downloads the app if a person clicks on the link.
Some who have downloaded the app have said that it does not work at all. However, the app had asked for permission to access the camera and microphone while downloading. Some users have even reported that once someone clicks on the download link in the message it is automatically forwarded to every contact in that person's contact list, according to the daily.
How to protect yourself from the 'TikTok Pro' scam?
While no official statement has been made by the police on how to protect one's phone from the app. The best option is to just not click on the download link in the message. User can also report the number from which they have had received the message or that other people don't get scammed.