The Google Play store is no stranger to malware-infested apps or scam related apps, so we can add this one onto its list. According to its research, Symantec states that there are over 200 apps in the Google Play store that scam people into paying money in order to view adult-rated videos. They have discovered that there are at least 50 developers involved in the scam, and their apps have been downloaded at least 5,000 times in the past couple of months.
Symantec states that as of right now, the situation seems to be limited only to Japan, however these apps could easily be released throughout the world. It says that these apps are able to obtain up to $1,000 from just one person. It also states that since these apps have been operating for more than two months, it seems that the scammers are finding the fraudulent operations to be “worth the time and effort”.
These apps require little to no permissions to run. Some apps, at most, require only permissions to access your network. Normally, one-click billing fraud is limited to PC users, however, now that smartphone usage has skyrocketed, scammers are changing platforms. Scammers are also branching out to other methods of fraud as well. The same developers who released the apps with one-click billing fraud have also released fraudulent dating service apps as well.
So here’s a piece of advice that’s common to most of you: Only download apps from trusted developers. Like I said before, this isn’t the first time Google Play has been hit by dangerous apps. Late in 2012, a developer had released dozens of fake apps in the Google Play store that utilized the same names as some very popular apps, such as Temple Run. To further protect yourself, you should install an anti-virus program onto your Android smartphone.
[via Information Week]