Looks can be deceptive and the latest Google Play Store app scam reveals it can be expensive too. The scam app in question is about an paid anti-virus app that reportedly did nothing at all.
Android Police reveals Virus Shield climbed up in popularity in the paid apps charts on the Play Store and slotted itself into number one position within a week. Impressive one must say and it looks like a solid app when you see the positive reviews and high ratings. So despite being priced at $3.99, it had an average rating of 4.7 stars and was downloaded more than 10,000 times.
The shocking thing about the whole episode is that it was not until a week had passed that it dawned upon users that this is a fake app. By that time most of them fell for the fake reviews and bought the app. Google has now removed the app from the store but unfortunately the damage has been done.
Once you run the app, it asks you tap once to start the anti-virus shield and that’s all it ever asks. Going through the code of the app, it’s clear that the only thing that the app does is the change the image. It changes from an X indicating not active, to a check mark indicating active protection. The app description claims it will prevent harmful apps from being installed, it will scans apps, settings, files, and media in real time, and protect your personal information. Oh, and it supposedly has low impact on battery life, along with “No, ZERO pesky advertisements!” But it’s sole feature was to make you feel like a fool afterwards.
Luckily this app was only used for the purpose of conning people out of their money and didn’t install any secondary malware to siphon off more data. So the next time you are tempted to buy that top-rated best selling app, remember to check out what it does immediately after installing it. Google Play Store allows users to claim a refund within 15 minutes of installing the app.
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Mar 4, 2015