With celebrities like Donald Trump or even Daniel Lara taking over social media, there are now app developers riding off the back of these celebrities to create their own small fortune. While some of these app developers are using the celebrity to simply follow a trend, some developers have went as far as impersonating celebrities in paid advertisements to generate downloads and ad revenue.

image1Josiah Jenkins of Appnoxious Apps, founded the app Trump On The Run and now has over 1500 ratings among thousands of downloads in the App Store. The app is also available on Android with over 50,000 downloads on Google Play under the developer name of Gold Coast Apps. The app receives downloads by paying social media profiles, such as @looksjustalike, an Instagram account with over 3.4 million followers, to post deceiving advertisements that attempt to impersonate celebrities.

The approach in the ad is obvious. Barack Obama’s face and name is placed at the top of the image, with a comment stating “I can’t believe Donald Trump is making app games instead of worrying about our country.” Then the entire photo is captioned with a statement from the owner of the account saying, “What do y’all think about his game ‘TRUMP ON THE RUN’ @trumpontherun ! Have you played it?”

Between the developer and the Instagram account promoting it, it would take an attorney to decide who’s to blame for this kind of fraudulent activity.

The entire ad concept is quite ironic. We have a desperate, money-hungry app developer taking shots at the most money-hungry politician in the running. This developer will do whatever it takes to fool, take advantage of, and profit off the naive Trump-hating masses.

Josiah has since changed the developer name on his app to Squad Social LLC, for obvious legal reasons.

These Instagram account owners are selling shoutouts and will stop at nothing to make a couple hundred dollars. Donald Trump isn’t the only app that is using impersonations to sell their app. Kanye West’s has been used to promote the game Color Dotz by Matthew Squillace. Matthew simply took a screenshot of the App Store listing for his app, and changed the description of it to “Kanye has done it again…” and even “I’mma give free Yeezy’s to the first 100 people to score 50 on [the app].”

Will these app developers face legal consequences? It is only a matter of time until their respective come PR teams come out with an official announcement.