An online scam that cost his friend thousands of dollars is what motivated Sorin Mihailovici to create an app with the potential of saving others from similar fates.
It was four years ago that Mihailovici’s friend fell victim to scammers, who flew him down to Amsterdam, and then eventually conned him out of $28,000. Determined to educate others on avoiding online pitfalls, Mihailovici produced a video and posted it on YouTube, where it received one million views.
Many of those viewers wanted more.
“People started sending emails saying I wish there was an app for that, that would explain in detail how these scams work.” said Mihailovici.
So he set out to make one, starting with reading “Apps for Dummies.” And after doing a significant amount of research online, Mihailovici launched the Scam Detector app this past summer.
The app, which is currently only available for iPhones, contains a database of 500 scams and has been download four thousand times in more than 60 countries around the world.
What Mihailovici calls the largest fraud prevention database is searchable by categories and keywords, with information on how the scam works and how to avoid it.
“It’s fun, you get to go into the scammer’s mind,” said Mihailovici. “It’s interesting how people start commenting on that and how they add their own personal experiences and tips towards preventing that specific scam.”
“It’s searchable, it’s comprehensive, it’s proactive, i’ts really a great resource for consumers,” said Ron Mycholuk of the Better Business Bureau.
David Hawthorne, an Economic Crimes Detective with EPS, also gives the fraud prevention tool two thumbs up.
“Those who have the iPhones, I think this would be a wonderful tool. If I had an iPhone, I would have it on mine,” he said. “They may have an idea that it sounds too good to be true, if they had a moment of pause, maybe grab their iPhone, go to their computer and looked it up, they would see, okay this isn’t such a good idea.”
With the mobile database being such a hit and getting such rave reviews, Mihailovici has decided to launch a free online version on October 10th.
“Feels great when you help people,” the app developer said. He hopes his creation will continue to keep consumers around the world safe from scammers.
For more information on the Scam Detector App, click here.
With files from Julie Matthews.