It is quite frustrating when you go online to look for a good monitoring software to put on your kid’s phone and you find nothing without being scammed. I’ve reviewed just about every app of that nature that’s out there, so bear with me if I boast, but I’m quite the pro in this area. My experiences with parental controls are like war stories really, and I’ve made it my life’s goal to spread the knowledge with as many people as I can. So I’ve decided that there are 5 different pitfalls that you have to look for in spy apps before you decide to buy one. And trust me, categorizing them to 5 was not easy.

1. The ‘Free’ Scam

I’m sorry, but this is just not how it goes. There is a lot of programming that goes into a cell phone spy app. A lot of intricate detail goes into to making sure the GPS tracking is accurate, the call details are being logged, the data is being uploaded and the like. There is no way anyone is selling that for free. So if a mobile spy app vendor says they’re offering their product free of cost, it’s definitely a scam. Unless of course it’s only free for special offers and such.

I’m not saying all monitoring apps that are free are viruses… I’m just saying they’re just not good. Hardly any free app I used delivered as promised. Half the things they claim they have don’t work, and the ones that do work might as well be just as useless. I know getting something for free is hard to say no to. But in this case, say no and save yourselves.

2. Ghost Customer Support

A legit, functioning mobile monitoring app is going to have a ‘real’ helpline. Because a good monitoring software usually has complex features that you might need help setting up. And even if you are a top grade, tech-savvy person extraordinaire, the cloud nature of these apps comes across bugs every now and then that only a trained customer support can fix.

So if you try customer support and it’s either non-existent or seems automated, here you have another pitfall. Buy those apps whose customer support is available through a helpline, or at least a live chat. You’ll almost immediately known if they’re real or fake—a bot won’t be able to understand your problems.

Mobile Spy

3. Too Many Features

Like I said earlier, many times, parental apps are going to list up to 60 features that they claim are contained within. I can tell you from experience that 90% of the time, only 4-5 of those feature work. Only 4-5! And even those don’t work as they should. Subpar apps would have weak servers that won’t be able to transmit data very efficiently. Which means, that impressive list of countless dream features are more of a marketing ploy than anything else?

Select an app that has realistic components even if they seem few. Of course, some reputable companies are going to have lots of features, too. But if the word on the street is good, then it’s fine. So, it’s probably a better idea to read customer reviews rather than fall for marketing ploys.

4. Remote Installation

There is no way you can download something on a phone without getting physical access to it. No legit spy software has a mechanism through which you can install it from the outside. Not even through Bluetooth. You will always need to get hold of the phone you want the app installed in.

If an app tells you that you can remotely install it onto someone’s phone, they are lying. And you’re being scammed. Avoid this one.

5. The ‘Compatibility’ Scam

Here’s another marketing ploy these app makers use. They’re going to tell you about all their amazing benefits, and you’ll want to buy a hefty subscription right away. Then just when you’re about to download it, you’ll find, ‘hey, this isn’t even compatible with my device!”

Scams won’t tell you what devices their product is compatible with. Scams only want your money. But a legit monitoring app would tell you what Operating Systems and what devices their app is compatible on, so you’ll know if the service is available to you before you buy it.