DJI, the leading drone manufacturer, has warned all its users: any DJI apps found on the Google Play Store are imposters. The company stressed that these apps could pose grave risks to unsuspecting users, who might inadvertently fall victim to scams.
This cautionary announcement was shared on the DJI Forums. The statement highlighted that while several apps are masquerading as genuine DJI Apps – such as “DJI Fly – Go for Drone models” or “DJI Earning app” – they are merely traps set to “steal or defraud anyone who downloads them,” as reported by DIY Photography.
Interestingly, DJI's official apps are nowhere to be found on Google Play. In fact, DJI explicitly instructs its Android users to fetch their apps directly from its official website. Thus, any DJI-tagged app spotted on Google Play stands as a red flag. Despite the company's clear guidelines, the instinctive step for many new drone owners with Android phones is to scour Google Play. This behavior remains a persistent concern. It's essential to note that DJI officially withdrew support from Google Play in 2021.
A DJI administrator elaborated on this decision: “Because the compatibility strategy between the DJI App and Google Play Store is changing, you currently cannot finish downloading and updating using Google Play. Thank you for your understanding.”
Victims Speak Out
One user's unfortunate experience encapsulates the peril. Chris Westland revealed on the DJI forums, “I downloaded the DJI Fly App from the Google Play Store yesterday (8-6-2023) and unfortunately opted to get the ‘3-day trial' which supposedly charged Google Pay $39.99. I can't seem to find the transaction… I presume it's a scam to get my Google Pay information.”
While initial speculations arose about a possible internal leak at DJI, it became evident that DJI's Software Development Kit (SDK) is readily accessible. This facilitates scammers in crafting applications that convincingly mimic the official ones, further bewildering customers.
DJI's Proactive Response
The drone company isn't just sitting on its hands. They're actively coordinating with Google to combat these fraudulent apps. Beyond safeguarding its users, DJI sees this as a fight to protect its intellectual property rights.
In a separate statement, DJI elaborated, “We are aware of the fraudulent applications… We take this matter very seriously and have already alerted Google Play administrators. Our top priority is to ensure the safety and security of our users… As a reminder to our customers, our official DJI applications are not available on the Google Play Store.”
DJI's official apps are up for grabs on the Apple App Store for Apple users. However, Android enthusiasts must steer clear of Google Play and head straight to DJI's website for genuine apps.
DJI urges everyone to be vigilant. If you spot a DJI app on Google Play, report it immediately and contact DJI support.
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