App Store Scam of the Week: ‘ChatGPT Chat GPT AI With GPT-3’

Sami Fathi, reporting for MacRumors:

ChatGPT is free to use on the web for anyone with an OpenAI account, but it has inspired scammers and sketchy developers to take advantage of its popularity for ill-gained profit. One app in particular, named “ChatGPT Chat GPT AI With GPT-3,” gives the impression it is the official app for the ChatGPT bot, but appears to have no affiliation to Open AI, the creators of ChatGPT, or the bot itself.

The app charges users a $7.99 weekly or $49.99 annual subscription to use the bot unlimited times and eliminate intrusive in-app ads. The app and its bot are inconsistent, sometimes providing generic or entirely irrelevant responses to a prompt offered by the user.

The app is currently the second most popular productivity app on the App Store in the United States, indicating it is rather popular. The app has nearly 12,000 ratings, with a number of positive and negative reviews. “This is a fake app,” one review said. “This is just faking openai endorsement and more bad stuff,” another user said. Despite its suspicious activity, presence, and soaring popularity, the app has passed Apple’s App Store review process multiple times since its initial launch three weeks ago.

As noted by Fathi in an update, the app was pulled from the App Store yesterday. But it should have been flagged sooner. I don’t think it’s feasible to expect App Store reviewers to catch every potential scam app. But as I’ve long argued, I do think it’s reasonable to expect Apple to catch every scam app that makes its way onto the list of most popular apps. They can’t catch every scam app but they ought to be able to catch every successful one.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023