The Punjab Police cybercrime cell has issued a warning against downloading APK files that mimic the banned "TikTok" or other popular apps, saying these might be sources of malware.
The warning was issued amid reports of a message being circulated via SMS and WhatsApp claiming that the banned Chinese app "TikTok" is now available as "TikTok Pro" in India. A URL is attached in the message for users to download the app, a police spokesperson said.
Pointing out that "TikTok" and 58 popular mobile apps have been banned by the government of India, the spokesperson said the cybercrime cell found that the malware called "TikTok Pro" is a fake app with a logo similar to the real one.
The fact that the fake app is not available for download either on Google Play Store or App Store clearly indicates it is a fraud, he said in a statement.
"Further, the URL http://tiny.cciTiktokPro, provided as a download link, does not follow basic security protocols as the site starts with http and not https. Also, clicking on the file immediately installs an APK file," the official said.
The department has urged people to be extremely cautious in this regard and not click on suspicious links.
"If they come across any such message regarding the fake app, through any social media platform, they should not forward it to others but should immediately delete it. Clicking on such links poses high risks because it could be malware which could redirect you to other fraudulent sites and lead to financial loss," the State Cyber Crime Investigation Centre said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)