Thousands fooled by fake BBM app in Google Play Store

By Adam Zeis on 24 Jun 2013 08:36 am EDT

We know that cross-platform BBM is coming soon but have yet to pin down an exact date. While a rumor was floating around that June 27th would be launch day, that was quickly squashed and we were again left with a "late summer" ETA. 

Over the weekend a developer claiming to be RIM (even though RIM isn't RIM anymore) launched a fake BBM app in the Google Play store, tricking hundreds of BBM-hungry Android users into download before the app was finally pulled by Google.

The app was called "blackberry messenger bbm" and was downloaded by over 100,000 users until it was removed from the store. When opening the app, it told users that it would start working on June 27th and then followed with a user agreement for StartApp to allow the installation of icons, bookmarks and other items. 

This is just a friendly reminder to make sure that official app is really official before you download and install it. When BBM does come to Android and iPhone - you'll hear about it all over and of course we'll let you know where to download it. 

Caveat emptor!

Topics: BBM Apps

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Thousands fooled by fake BBM app in Google Play Store


BlackBerry one of the most active brands on social networks. I know once it's available, they'll be announcing it everywhere. Including sending an email to those that requested to be notified.

Of course, above all, I expect CrackBerry to break the news first :D

As soon as I saw this app over the weekend I knew it was bogus for 3 reasons. 1: Blackberry would never post an app identifying themselves as RIM and 2: there was no video chat on the ''BBM'' app, only video messaging. And 3: Blackberry is famous for always being late delivering apps, NEVER early. This is obviously an attempt to get a phishing virus out to Android BBM wanna bees, and I hope they nail the guys balls to the wall who made this bogus app.

Same people that write viruses and malware put it in there and same people that are fooled by phishing and malware sites tried to install it.

While it's nice to know many would download the app, I don't like hearing about the deceit. Might actually cause people to not download the legit version.

Posted via CB10

^ I'll bet you that was EXACTLY the point of the fakes, to kill the excitement so that when the real McCoy launches many are just to wary to bother.

This was Brillant!! Could this be the crafty work of BB's new PR firm,I hope so!! I've already read a couple of articles,and one of them said hundreds of thousands of people were fooled, and tried to download BBM.Fight fire with fire!!

Hahaha! Fail to android!

But it's cool that so many people want BBM! 100k / day on just android?

This will crush WhatsApp and whatever

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone using CB10

Very good to see such a demand. I wonder if there will be an iPad app? They should also bring out a desktop version and Windows phone so that it's supported on all platforms.

Posted via CB10

I really hope they have a windows phone version ready at or shortly after release. BlackBerry should know better than everyone how annoying it is when Devs ignore a platform. They should make a point to show that none of the major platforms needs to be ignored.

Unless they are trying to get Office on BB10 first.

Posted via CB10

You can't say a moderator is "the pot calling the kettles black" either...I've learned MY lesson and will do my utmost to consider their frail and delicate constitution before posting...mea culpa mea culpa

The mods are pretty chill here.

If they tell you to play nice, there is a reason.

Posted via CB10

Ummm...shouldn't the review process at Google Play have stopped this app from becoming available? Makes me wonder about their controls.

This was my initial thought as well. While I applaud Google for having arguably the most open policy regarding their platform this is disappointing.

They probably let it thru on purpose hoping BlackBerry would lose credibility if people thought it was the real deal

Posted via CB10

Over 100,000. Certainly shows pretty strong demand and brand recognition. Hopefully this won't tarnish the name.

Posted via CB10

Wow the silver lining in all this. DOWNLOADED over 100,000 times in 1 weekend! If there is that much demand, imagine how many it will have when it really comes to both iOS & Android. It will be the top msg app in the world in no time!

Posted via CB10

.... I just hope nobody who DL'd the app actually thought this was BlackBerry & is turned off from DL'n BBM when it really arrives....

Posted via CB10

Depends on what options there will be for the Android and IOS users, if BBM can do less than whatsapp then it is bye bye BBM simple

Posted via CB10

Whenever you donwload an app you should be able to use it on the spot. The fact it told the user "June 27th" was a dead spam giveaway..Glad to see so many people hyped about bbm. The countdown continues....

BBM spells the end of all other IM platforms. Love it. Everytime an iPhone or Android user loads it up, they will be treated to the BlackBerry logo.... the best advertising ever!

This shows how insecure the Andriod app store is. Would enterprise customers want to get on to this platform. No way

Posted via CB10

There is nothing to stop this same type of spy ware from appearing on blackberry appworld.

The blackberry testers don't see the underbelly of the app..

Posted via CB10

For some reason there is always some selfish people out there who cares that someone has a clean phone!

Posted via CB10 ~ Join the One And Only active News channel on BBM Channels just add C000E96C1 ~

This is why I'll stay with BlackBerry. How the hell did it get on app store in the first place?

Silence...for I have spoken.

This begs the questions, why are there not more checks and balances in the Google play store? I would have to think this could never happen on BB World or iTunes app store. Google wants Droid to be taken seriously in the secure space, perhaps some simple QC on what gets let in could go a long way to solving this.

This has happened in BlackBerry World. Android apps have been available in BlackBerry World by fake devs a few times.

Posted via CB10

maybe minor insignificant apps....but major one? Not sure a fake Instagram or a fake Spotify would land in BB World with much success

A real Instagram and a real Spotify probably wouldn't have much luck of landing in the BB world either it seems.

This is the best indicator of the strength of BBM.

This is what BlackBerry have been looking for. So what it's fake at least we know that BBM going cross platform was not quite the nightmare that was first predicted.

Now for the infrastructure to handle the rush when it comes. NO MORE OUTAGE!!!

Are you listening Mr Heins?

Posted via CB10

I just can't believe that I have had the opportunity to remark on anything within 20 spots of the release of a new headline on this Crackberry App.( And that I just had to add Crackberry to my dictionary right now.)
Anyway-- nice to welcome other platforms to the BBM family. Even bad 'advertizing' is good publicity. Won't be long folks.
It is nice and green on this side of the fence!

Posted via CB10

The first thing that comes to my mind after reading this...Google Play Store is not very secure if obvious spams/scams like this can so easily get in.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

I consider this as an epic fail for Google, because this proves that I cannot consider Android a platform for me to choose. Something like that should have never happened and is simply embarrassing that they put it in their store. Apparently nobody checks anything there. What if it was a malicious software in disguise.

Posted via CB10

Just to add,with BBM going cross platform, I wonder how this will impact BlackBerry phone sales? I hope it's the right decision.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

Catch 22.. I know those who won't consider BBM because of the cross platform contact issues. Many simple usage type users don't research for alternative platforms. It face time, BBM, etc.. to finally have one of the most known cross platform, may allow them to consider BlackBerry. Besides. Beats apples or Google doing it first...

Posted via CB10

I think its the right decision, and I doubt there will be a negative impact on phone sales. The problem might be that its a bit too late.

Come now. Android is totally secure and anybody who believes that this latest breach is anything other than yet another of hundreds of "exceptions" to the rule is a Google hating fanboy!

Android is totally 100% secure! And besides, this problem will totally be fixed in the next update, even though it isn't really a problem. And dumb users are to blame, not poor design and an insecure app store!


Posted via CB10

Android is too fractured and security is questionable. However it continues to dominate. If BlackBerry could write us a native app that would allow us to automatically load and run the current android apps, then this platform would skyrocket. Side loading is above too many users. They will just get an android device. Also Mr Heins needs to get back onto the public eye and start pushing BB10 again. It's like he has disappeared. Even if he doesn't have much new at the moment, he needs to still bee public and talking. It helps shows that BlackBerry is still alive and is a viable option. Be the people's person in the mobile space!

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Wow. Epic fail on part of Google / android. Shame that something like this can be permitted to happen. But I suppose that's what makes BlackBerry better, at least I honestly don't recall such an incident on BlackBerry App World. I could be wrong. Feel free to correct if i am.

Posted via CB10

I guess this really shows how much of a demand there really is for BBM to go cross platform. :D Hope noone lost any important information

Btw to all the users claiming that Google store is insecure. The correct term is UNSECURE. Not INSECURE. Two different meanings. And as posted by another users reply. The store definetly isn't in secure. :). That's my rant for the day. Just saying

Posted via CB10

There is NO apparent surveillance by the Google app monitors to verify content before release .
ANY JUNK can be uploaded to the Store.
So, when Google says they have so many bizzion apps in their Store, how many are honest?

Lol you sound like an evil villain. "Android Fools!" haha this just made my day.

Posted via my Panther Z10 and CB10 app

THAT is true!
BB (the company) wants everyone who uses BBM to consider purchasing a BB branded phone.

So 100k in a couple of days? Mr Heinz might want to buy another server or whatever. This wasn't advertised, no brass bands or anything. It was over before I found out about it. So with news releases and what not, and Apple peeps getting it too I wouldn't be surprised to see 5 times that amount over a couple of days.
That's why it is so important that BlackBerry not mess this up. Plenty of people will load it up just so they can find something wrong and use it to bash BlackBerry some more. Some People still hate BlackBerry because of the storm even, and they expect another half baked buggy experience.
Not me though. BBM is my app of the summer, the one I'm watching for and am anxious to try.

BlackBerry BBM / BBM Channels will be the best and most secured Social e-Commerce Enterprise Brand Messenger period.

Posted via CB10

I think i'm repeating something that someone said.
Doesn't Google check any app that is posted on the Store?
I hope Blackberry World check everything , before we download and install.
Hope to see millions of people download BBM when it comes out.
My prediction is that if you don't have a BB you will pay a yearlly fee to use it, of course BB people its free :)

Google doesn't check. Just malicious code detection (anti virus of store) and live in play store.

BlackBerry, does it run? Does it crash on first run? That's about it.

Posted via CB10

There are tons of apps advertised available on the Android marketplace.
How many do not work, fully or at all? Or, contains undetected stuff potentially dangerous to load

You mention that RIM isn't RIM anymore, but the only app they have in the google play store (BES 10) is under "Research In Motion"

The company page of says:

"Research In Motion is now BlackBerry ...
Research In Motion now operates globally under the iconic name BlackBerry....
To further signal this exciting re-branding of the Company, effective February 4, 2013, our stock ticker on the NASDAQ exchange will become BBRY and on the TSX exchange, BB.

Telling people to call me steve doesn't legally change my name to do that. They're still legally RIM.

Incorrect. RIM has had all the legal changes to call them selves legally BlackBerry. RIM is now just a she'll of Ko thing. Only a name owned wholly and trademarked by BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

No you're wrong. The stock symbols still say Research In Motion and even the wikipedia article says Research In Motion OPERATED AS BlackBerry.

I'll agree that the stock market names the company RIM, but the stock symbol is under BlackBerry. It's going to take some time for the name change to appear everywhere. Thorsten says BlackBerry so just go with that.

(oh. Try not to trust Wikipedia for information.)

Conspiracy theory time. This was released by Google/whatsapp/apple/whatever in the hope nobody downloaded it so they could leak a press release saying nobody wants BBM.

In politics, you can define yourself, or you can passively sit back and allow your opponents to define you, resulting in one running around to douse misleading statements/characterizations.
Blackberry-0, Opponents-1
Next time, have the damn app ready when you announce it....will you fools never learn?

How the hell is someone able to put fake apps in an app store? Are you friggin kidding me! Another reason I don't trust Android. Apparently Android doesn't care what they offer, or its impact to the downloader. Just another app so they can claim "we at Android no have 1 trillion billion million apps, and you don't. " "so there"

Posted via CB10

Over 100K downloads for this bogus app, Question: whats the average number of downloads for a popular app in a short time frame

Android fanboy here to settle one thing that seems to keep comnig up. You BB users are asking "how can Google" let it through? "Whats the review process?" There is none. There is a virus checking service/server(s) and thats all, its called Bouncer and has been proven easy to fool. Android apps are instant publish. This is the way it has always been and why Android users love our Play Store. It seems like Windows all over again, but that comes with the territory of wide spread mass adoption quickly due to cheap devices. The app used legit advertising providers (no malware), they just used a cleaver name to get it downloaded fast. Hope this clears up the how and why for some people :)

Anyways, carry on with your comments as it is time for me to head back to robots and the wild west aka Google Play Store


100000 downlaods in a weekend, who the hell said no one wants BBM

blackberry could charge a for a download and people would still pay

What a great way to see if anyone cares about cross platform BBM. Look at that.......they do. This is a great sign.

Posted via CB10

Well, see how many people crave bbm!
I couldn't help my laughter for this. Gosh, such fools, BlackBerry should put restrictions on non BlackBerry bbms, so they will have only a bit of it. And would be tempted to buy a BlackBerry. XD

Posted via CB10

I think the core function should be free. But any advanced features like video calling and calendar sharing etc. Should be a paid upgrade like .99 or something.

Get a little revenue or push people over to the platform for the advanced features


Posted via CB10

BlackBerry should make a commercial showing off every BBM features like BBM calls, bbm video , screen sharing, bbm channels, adding contacts with NFC etc. People would see the difference between bbm on an actual blackberry and the competition. (no screen sharing, some phones don't have NFC) In order to make the commercial they would have to set a firm deadline and actually respect it.

A commercial could definitely build a tremendous hype and BBM could go down as one of the most downloaded apps in a day, on any OS.

Posted via CB10

It was probably the work of the Shorts
.if it failed to garner downloads in significant numbers they would say " see..nobody wants Bbm" the fact it got over 100k in less than 36 hours is pretty telling of how big it will be.

Posted via CB10

My all friends are Android and IPhone user's. And everyone is waiting for BBM, they all hate WhatsApp now, because you who is online or was last seen online. That is a big deal and now I am 100% sure : BBM will be No 1 in message no doubt

Posted z5

Testing the water. It was only from Android 100k download? Now Google and apple knows how many people wants to have a Bbm on their phone.

Posted via CB10

Considering there's over 19 MILLION downloads a day from the Play Store, I'd suggest that 100k downloads of this shows there's very little demand actually.

BB please get out the BBM app for all platforms ASAP. Why do you want to give so much time to all your competitors out there like Watsapp, Viber etc to modify their apps and make it as good as BBM. Please execute on this ASAP. Your same arrogance of delaying BB10 has already affected the potential BB10 sales could have had in absence of competition from likes of HTC One, Iphone 5 and S4. Had BB10 been launched last year I bet that Z10 and Q10 would have been the best selling phones out there. Also you would have shipped more than 15 million phones. So history tells us what problems execution delays cause.
Make no mistake I am a very big fan of yours. But also want BB to be the best not the 3rd best. Go BB!!

I think BlackBerry will launch BBM with BBM channels, and that could come after the OS10.2 release.... so I feel there's a lot of waiting involved before we see BBM on Android.

Posted via the awesome z10 using CB10

Now we've had the fake BBM app, its time for BB to get off their collective a$$es and deliver the real one on time. The release date was June 27 and now late summer? We've all had that sickening perpetually late friend who is never changing. However a good enough friend to tolerate their never ending lateness and excuses which are designed to warrant absolution from you. This is what Blackberry reminds me of with all their delays. That being said it would be interesting for my Samsung and my wifes iPad mini to communicate with my Playbook. Hope this is not just another Playbook disapointment as usual.