Spy software designed for phones, tablets, or other devices, can track someone’s movement, check up on their personal messages, and so much more. While we don’t condone illegal spying on someone, it’s perfectly fine for you to do it to your underage child’s phone, or on an employees work phone you gave them. Spyware is hard to detect, and newer programs use little energy, making it even more invisible.
But there’s a problem with spyware: despite all the advancements, you more than likely will need to install it manually. In other words, you have to find the person you’re spying on’s phone, have access to said phone, and install the program on there without them knowing.
That can be difficult at times. If only there was a better way! If only someone could make spyware that could be installed through the airwaves.What’s that? You’ve seen programs that can do that?
If you’ve been looking for spyware, you may have seen software that claims to install without the target phone needed. The descriptions may be differ, but the gist is that you can install software from your phone to your target phone via remote, or send it to the target phone by entering its number. Or any other way that sounds too good to be true. These programs will usually say you can get this for a small, one time fee.
Are they real? Or are they a scam?
We’re going to go into more detail in this article, but if you want to know the answer now, the tl;dr version is that it’s a scam. Any monitoring software claiming to work via remote or some other way is a scam!
Usually, when you pay, you’ll get software that does not work, or better yet, you’ll get nothing. They’ll send you a file that’s nothing but a digital paperweight. When you try to get a refund, they won’t answer, and if you try to call the law on them, the site is shut down and they’re running away with your money in a bag.
So at this point, some of you can close this article and move on. But I know a few of you have some questions. Why are these all scams? Is there a legitimate remote-install spyware app out there? Is it even feasible? If not, why? All these questions and more will be answered below.
The Long Version
As we said before, remote-install spyware seems so tempting because it bypasses the hardest step: accessing the target phone. The person you’re targeting could be glued to their phone, or have a password you just can’t figure out. Whatever the case, if you can’t access the phone, you can’t be a spy.
That’s why the allure of these scams smells so sweet. You could plant spyware on someone’s phone without any evidence that you physically tampered with it. With that said, is this even possible? Before we answer, let’s look at a legitimate programs that works. Kind of.
There is one alternative way to access a phone without manual installation. mSpy has this option. However, the alternative way isn’t what you’re looking for. It’s not even spyware.
Instead, the option copies backups from iCloud. Entering the target phone’s iCloud Apple ID and password will copy their backups and give you data. There are some monitoring features, but not as good as a full-on spyware program.
Already, you can see the problem with this. All this program does is take a roadblock and give you another one. Instead of having find the phone and figure out its lock screen password, you have to know the target’s ID and password.
This is clearly not what most want. Most want an option that bypassing any passwords and encryptions. Is it possible?
Whether you’re doing it to see if your employees aren’t planning to cross you, seeing if your teenager is really staying at their friend’s house like they told you, or for a malicious reason that we don’t condone, the idea of software that allows you to install it on your target device without any passwords seems too perfect. That’s because it is.
It’s nothing but a scam. Now then, we know you’re probably a smart person who is usually skeptical of Internet scams. You know there’s no Nigerian prince willing to give you thousands of dollars. You know that poorly-spelled email that claims to be from Amazon, which is asking for your login information, isn’t from Amazon.
However, you can still be vulnerable if you’re desperate and emotional. You’ve tried your hardest to find the target phone and install it, but it’s just not working. You want a solution, and the site seems legitimate enough, and any red flags may be overlooked.
But emotions won’t magically make the program work. There is no remote-install program.
All spyware involves you having to get the phone, access it, and install it yourself. If the legitimate spyware could have a remote install option, why don’t they? There are two reasons.
Why are these spyware programs, if spying is illegal, legal in the first place? Usually, it’s because they’re meant for legal reasons. If your kid is underage, and you give them a phone you paid for, you have a legal right to spy on your kid’s phone. There may be a moral reason why that’s wrong, but the law isn’t here for that.
The second reason these programs are legal is because of work phones. Your boss will inform you that you’re being spied on, and you’ll consent to it. So you have no room to complain if you get fired because you were smack-talking your boss on your phone.
And, of course, people use the software for illegal reasons, but the developers aren’t responsible for that. Fraud would be on the rise if remote-installation was offered on this software, and the companies distributing it would be in serious hot water.
If you want to monitor a phone you must own it either as a parent or an employer. You are legally obligated to tell someone the phone is being monitor-otherwise you will be breaking the law and could incur serious consequences.
Remote Installation is Impossible
Having software that you can spread from phone to phone by simply calling it, or pressing a button like a remote and sending it their way, is something that’s only in the movies for now. The future may bring this, but for now, remote installation is impossible.
What about Bluetooth?
Some people say that a phone that has Bluetooth on constantly may allow you to spy on it. Maybe your target leaves the connection on because they always keep Bluetooth headphones on. Whatever the reason, there is jailbroken software you can install via Bluetooth, but it doesn’t work like you think.
To send the software, both phones need to have Bluetooth on. Now, if your target always has it on, you may think this will be easy. Until you realize Bluetooth has poor range. You would have to sneak up on them to install it.
But what if you’re sneaky? It still wouldn’t work. The software would only install if the target willingly accepted the Bluetooth connection. Consent is still required. This is a far cry from the idea of sending someone spyware without their consent and from any place the sender so desires.
What About Sending the Target a File?
Scammers may also tell you that their software, instead of using remote installation, can be sent via text, email, etc., and when the target opens it, the software is installed.
This is possible. Computer viruses are usually sent via email.
How many times have you heard of someone opening a suspicious attachment that turned out to be a Trojan? However, these Trojans are usually underground, in a black market. Spyware sendable through messages is still illegal, and a company wouldn’t be selling it out in the open. It’s still a scam.
Do Your Research!
See some software that seems too good to be true, but you’re not sure is a scam? Just Google, Bing, whatever, the name of the software, along with the word “scam,” and you should be able to see dozens of complains from people who got scammed, couldn’t get a refund, and so on and so forth.
But what if you see the reviews and they’re all positive? These reviews will usually be planted on review sites, or a separate, fishy site altogether. They may use the fishy sites and bump them up to the top of the search results, masking the real review sites. They’ll typically read like a shill review, and that’s because they are.
Trust me, a freelance writer wouldn’t mind getting paid to write a fraudulent review. However, shill reviews typically have red flags. The reviews will stress that the product is not a scam. If you have to say your product isn’t a scam, it totally is.
Why Do Scammers Do This?
A pretty obvious reason, but it’s still worth explaining. They’re just after your money. Usually, they’re overseas in a country where these scams are illegal. They usually have a cyclic plan in motion.
They pitch a bogus product, have people buy it, and once everyone calls them out for being a scam, they’ll retreat, only to pop up a few months later with the software going under another name. With suckers being born every minute, they’ll never run out of victims. So don’t be their next victim. None of them work, and here are a few signs they’re a scam.
While this is meant for remote-install spyware, some of these red flags can apply to other software as well. Here are some of the signs.
Claiming to Install the Software Remotely
Not only is that not feasible, but it’s bait for legal trouble.
They Charge a One-Time Fee
The sites will be using buzzwords such as “one time payment,” “free upgrade for life,” and “no monthly payments.” While there is legitimate software out there that only charges a one time payment, scam software will charge one-time payments all the time, because they know a monthly plan wouldn’t work for them. One and done.
And That Fee Will Be Cheap
There is good software for cheap, and even free, but if the software seems too good to be true, they’d be selling it for a lot more if it worked.
Look at it this way. If someone claimed to be selling a solar-powered, self-driving car for $1,000, would you believe them? Of course not. That would be something that would cost a pretty penny until it became more commercially available.
A Few Extra Bonuses?
Besides that, these sites will claim to offer some extra bonuses if you buy the product. The software they offer will usually be irrelevant to the product, and it may seem sketchy in of itself. Some freeware does attempt to bundle other software with it as a means to make money, but they’re not going to boast that. Never install bundled software.
Weird Website Design
If you see anything off with the web design, it could be a sign of a scam product. A legitimate product will have your standard web design and pages. It will have a few pages about the product, contact information, and more.
A scam website will have little pages. Instead, it will have lots of calls to action telling you to buy it now, testimonials from so-called customers, a video about the product, tick boxes, and other irritating features.
It’s hard to explain, but once you see a webpage of scam software, you will see them all.
Few Payment Options
Usually, this website will have limited ways to pay. They’ll usually not use cards, but instead PayPal or other services. PayPal is a legitimate payment service, and there are trustworthy businesses that do have limited payment options, but scammers will exclusively use PayPal because using a card would make it easier for you to refund it. PayPal does have refund options, but they’re not as good.
Contact Information That’s Fake
Usually, you may see contact information such as an address or a phone number. If so, you may want to Google that. These addresses and numbers are usually fake, set up as a means to seem more authentic, and a quick search can take off that veil.
Other Red Flags
There are more red flags as well, and it’ll be up to you to look out for them. As we said, this applies to anything available online for purchase. It’s up to you to see if the product is real, and you must use research and common sense to see if the product is real or not.
What About Government Spying?
We’ve gone on about how remote spying doesn’t work, but all of us know our governments spy on us all the time. There have been countless debates about electronic spying, usually done by the NSA. Online privacy is always a hot-button issue.
But government software isn’t using spyware that sells for an affordable price. You can say our government is incompetent, but they’re not that incompetent.
Speaking of government in competence, what about governments going after all these scammers? Usually, the government will take down companies who sell legitimate products that can be used unethically. For instance, the takedown of Megaupload, a file hosting site that many used for pirated music and software. Or the takedown of Stealthgenie, which is spyware marketed for legal use.
Despite being vigilant about products that can be used illegally, they seem to go quiet when it comes to sites who sell you products that are junk, or are just plain nonexistent. These companies sell you a scam, rebrand, and start all over. And yet, no one is doing anything about it.
The only way to defeat these scammers is to not give into their scams. Tell your friends, your family, your dog, about these scammers, and if everyone is informed, they may one day be a thing of the past.
If a site tells you they can sell you software that can be installed remotely, it’s a scam. If you see reviews of that product that are positive, they’re fake. Sadly, the only way to install spyware is for you to have the target phone in hand, and for you to have access to its contents. While that may seem like a drag, at least you won’t have to worry about a jealous ex spying on you remotely!
All jokes aside, be informed. Share this article with anyone who is using spyware, or to anyone who tells you about this awesome program they found that claims to install spyware remotely. You’ll be saving someone’s time, money, and dignity if they know the product is a scam. So please, share this.