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Even in Windows 11, the Microsoft Store is Full of Scams

Microsoft Store up in flames

Microsoft’s Windows Store is still a mess. While it’s no secret that the storefront had its struggles back in the day, the situation now, even in Windows 11, certainly isn’t ideal. For example, within seconds of opening the Microsoft Store, we found a scammy paid version of Apple’s free QuickTime player, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

If you go scroll through the list of apps, even on the homepage, you’ll quickly spot fake apps that only exist to scam users or take their money — like paying $10 for an Adobe Flash Player for PC. And for those unaware, Adobe killed off Flash a long time ago. So this is nothing but a fake scam app that goes as far as asking for a 5-star review to “unlock upgraded features” that don’t even exist.

To make matters worse, these scam apps asking for reviews end up populating in the trending apps list right on the Windows Store landing page. Users will accidentally find an awful $5 Blu Ray Player app or paid apps that are nothing more than a “Google Chrome User Guide.”

Windows Store Scam Apps
Windows Store

A prime example is the free open-source Microsoft Office alternative LibreOffice, which, again, is free. However, the Windows Store has a fake paid version for $16 that just so happens to be on sale for under $5. And in case you needed a reminder, you definitely should not buy, download, or open any of these.

The shady “developer” who uploaded LibreOffice was too lazy to even update the app description. Instead, they copy and paste the description from the authentic website where it mentions the program is free of charge. Again, the Windows Store is a mess!

There’s a way to report shady Windows Store apps to Microsoft, but we’re not sure if it’s even worth the trouble. Microsoft claims it has checked these apps before being listed on the store with its certification process, and a quick look on Reddit shows several users have already reported a slew of apps with no changes.

The company has an app certification process in place, but apparently, someone needs to do a better job.

Microsoft has done a lot to clean up its Windows Store over the last few years, but it’s clear that there is still plenty of work to be done. While we do not see dozens of fake VLC or iTunes apps like previous years, it’s still easy to find useless garbage, especially when scam apps show up right on the landing page or in trending app lists.

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »