Scam ChatGPT AI iPhone app yanked from the App Store amid explosive popularity

App Store Iphone 13 Pro
(Image credit: Future)

An app claiming to be the ChatGPT bot has been removed from the App Store after attempting to charge customers huge amounts of money for what is normally a free tool.

ChatGPT is a tool that can be used for free via a webpage so long as you sign up to get an OpenAI account. But that didn't stop one developer from creating an app called ChatGPT Chat GPT AI With GPT-3 and charging money for it.

With the ChatGPT bot having a moment of fame online in recent weeks the fake app also shot to the top of the App Store charts, becoming the second most popular app of all.

ChatGPT is a tool that takes simple prompts and turns them into text — an email, a report, or just about anything and has been shown to be surprisingly good at what it does. This app, however, was anything but.

Big spender

The app was a free download that then charged users a $7.99 weekly or $49.99 annual subscription in order to get unlimited use and to remove ads. MacRumors (opens in new tab) notes that even before the app was removed from the App Store its reviews were inconsistent — some positive, some negative. Some users called the app out for being "fake," as of course, it was.

The developer of the app, 'Social Media Apps & Game Sports health Run Hiking Running fitness tracking,' have similarly sketchy apps available for download on the App Store. Note the keyword-stuffed developer name, just as was the case with the app's "ChatGPT Chat GPT AI With GPT-3" title.

Apple hasn't confirmed whether the app was removed from sale by the developer or Apple itself, but it seems fairly obvious. It isn't clear how the app ever found its way through the App Store review process, however, something that Apple touts as the reason behind quality apps and one of the best iPhone features of all. 

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.