Google BANS three dangerous apps that could COST you

DANGEROUS ripoff apps that scam users out of money have been banned by Google – but experts warn even more come along to replace them.

Many mimic regular apps to trick people but they’re riddled with trojans that secretly start a paid subscription.


Sneaky ripoff apps could cost youCredit: Kaspersky

The nasty Jocker bug is able to sneak past Google’s security detection.

It was found on three apps: Style Message, Blood Pressure App and Camera PDF Scanner.

But popular brands and names are also imitated to gain trust.

This includes apps like GameBeyond, Tubemate, Minecraft, GTA5 and Vidmate.

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“While trojanised apps are removed from the store on a daily basis, it’s constantly flooded by new ones to take their place,”  Igor Golovin from Kaspersky said.

“Most of the apps completely lack any legitimate functionality.

“They begin subscribing straight after they’re launched, while the user sees a loading window.

“They usually pay for legitimate services in a user’s name and scammers take a cut from the money billed.

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“These types of subscription fees tend to be fleeced from the phone balance.”

Cyber crooks pull the trick off by downloading real apps, adding malicious code to them before reuploading to the store under a different name, experts say.

Once it’s on your phone, the app will request access to text messages or notifications, so it can intercept confirmation codes to start a subscription on the sly.

Data suggests victims of Jocker were mostly in Saudi Arabia (21.20%), followed by Poland (8.98%) then Germany (6.01%).

Cyber security professionals caution people against downloading apps from unofficial sources to protect themselves, but warn that you “shouldn’t let your guard down” when installing apps from Google Play either.

“Read the reviews, read up on the developer, the terms of use and payment,” Golovin advised.

“For messaging choose a well-known app with positive reviews.

“Even if you trust an app, you should avoid granting it too many permissions.

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“Only allow access to notifications for apps that need it to perform their intended purposes — for example, to transfer notifications to wearable devices.

“Apps for something like themed wallpapers or photo editing don’t need access to your notifications.”

Examples of popular apps that have been copied by scammers


Examples of popular apps that have been copied by scammersCredit: Kaspersky

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