Fake ChatGPT apps are everywhere on Android and iOS app stores

If you have spent any time on social media recently, you will probably have seen countless videos showing the types of things that ChatGPT can do. 

Launched at the end of 2022, OpenAI released ChatGPT for free in a research preview format.

However, while the company only offers this as an online tool, experts have now warned of multiple scammers packaging up ChatGPT into a usable app with a mobile-friendly interface – but many of these unofficial apps are riddled with problems.

Fake ChatGPT apps

For us, a quick search of ‘GPT’ on the iOS App Store resulted in one app featuring at the top of all results: an ad. It states that it is powered by OpenAI’s free GTP-3 technology, however offers a monthly subscription costing £7.99 per month to unlock “monthly full access” to a fundamentally free service.

Another app further down the search results has an average of 4.7 stars across a total of more than 900 reviews. It, too, is powered by GPT-3, and offers paid subscriptions ranging from Lite to Pro and Advanced; the most expensive costs £12.99 per month. We found this same app on the Google Play Store, offering paid subscriptions and boasting a similarly high 4.5-star rating (across nearly 300 reviews).

Beyond apps that explicitly claim to build on the GPT technology, MacRumors reportedly found one app that it claimed: “[gave] 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.” 

It charged $7.99 per week for ad-free access, was featured as number two in the App Store’s productivity charts, and had more than 12,000 reviews.

The app has since been taken down; TechRadar Pro has reached out to Apple for further comment on how it vets apps that make it onto its App Store, and subsequently into its charts. OpenAI has not immediately responded to our request for more information on its thoughts behind such apps.

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