Indian TikTok Fans Fall Victim to Cybercrime After China Ban
Having banned Chinese apps after the violent border skirmish, Indian social media fans are targeted by antisocial pariahs.
Just days after India has banned 59 mobile apps and TikTok among them, flocks of similar apps are popping up to replace the massively popular social video sharing platform. And one of those apps is TikTok Pro.
A naïve user may think that TikTok Pro is a new version of China's TikTok made specifically for India. Last week, New Delhi called out national security concerns (Hailo Washington!) and blacklisted apps including ShareIt, UCBrowser, Shein, Club Factory, CamScanner, Weibo (Nasdaq: WB), Baidu Maps – and TikTok, which topped all charts during the era of Covid-19.
"We must build our own ecosystem. Every country has done so. This is our self-reliance plan," Indian government official has said. And these words have been heard. Now with cleared up memory space in Indian phones, local apps are looking to fill in and break the bank.
And apparently, so are cybercriminals.
TikTok Pro, with a scarily similar logo to the original TikTok, is one of those local apps, spread via links. Its description says: "Enjoy Tiktok Videos and also make Creative Videos again. Now TikTok is only Available in (Tiktok Pro)."
GizChina, however, warns against using the double. "This app is not official and could be as dangerous as living with a criminal," it said in a report today. Giving it permission to access camera, photo library, microphone, and other information may lead to the theft of personal information and infection by viruses.
And here is the final answer to the 20 million rupee question: Only install apps directly from the Play Store.
So don't be fooled.