Google Play Scam: Malware Tricks Users Into Paying for Free Apps

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bill-swift - May 24, 2012

The great thing about mobile app stores is that they periodically offer free downloads of select mobile apps in their catalog. There's the iTunes app store for the iOS, and the Android Market and Google Play for the Android.

However, it seems like scammers have figured out a way to cash in on the extreme app trend by hijacking these free apps on Google Play and then charging users money to download them.

It sounds crazy, but that's because the whole thing probably is. Security firm Symantec has reported the discovery of a new variant of Android.Opfake that directs users to paid versions of apps that are normally available for free on Google Play.

First of all, users are directed to a screen which features the app that they're about to download. An installation screen runs, which is followed by a long agreement. Upon closer inspection, the agreement indicates that the user will be charged for the app. Once clicked, the app will send out a premium-rate SMS message charged to your mobile phone data plan.

It's hard to spot this malware as it is, so when you're installing apps, make sure to read the entire agreement and be extra vigilant. Be on the safe side and avoid installing any apps from third-party sites.

Article by Hazel Chua
Gigadgetry: Cool Gadgets, Tech News, Quirky Devices

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