Invasive App “Gathers” All Your Contacts to Spam

There’s a new app that is hijacking your contacts list without permission — even if you don’t download it.  The app is listed in the Apple store as “Gather – In real life” and claims to be the easiest way to get together with friends. The app supposedly allows users to create an event and selectively invite friends without requiring them to download the app or visit a website. What the app does not divulge is that it doesn’t require you to download the app to spam every single person in your contacts. Below is an example of a text message that the app sends out once a receiver taps on the included link. Typically, a user would have to download the app and agree to its terms and conditions (which does not state the app will immediately import your full contact list to send a message to) before it can have access to certain features of the user’s phone. In this case, simply following the link in Gather’s  invitation text allows the app full access to your contacts list which is used to send the same spam message to all of them.

Always be cautious when receiving a text from an unknown number. Never click on a link that you don’t recognize, especially when it is sent from a number you do not have saved in your phone. Although it may be tempting, do not text the number back asking who it is or with the word “STOP”. The best way to prevent receiving future spam texts, simply block the number that you have received the message from and delete it immediately.

Source: BBB of North Alabama

If you would like to report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.