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Some Apps on Google play Store may trick you into getting premium subscription

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Image courtesy; ABC News-Walt Disney

At Least 150 android apps with around 10 million installations, have been found to be malicious that tries to trick its users into buying subscriptions services without permission and knowledge.

Some Apps on Google play Store may trick you into getting premium subscription 1
image courtesy; The Strait Times

This global fraud campaign is said to have started from may 2021, and is known as the ‘UltimaSMS’ scam campaign. The coverage of this scam incorporated apps like QR code scanner, keyboard, camera filters, photo editors, games, blocker of spam calls and some video editors, most of which are found to be installed by people in the US, Poland, Pakistan and countries in the Middle East.

These apps start their malicious activities by enforcing the users for their contact number and mail id that gives them access to the advertised features which then enables the apps to charge for premium subscription that are worth upto 40 dollars a month depending on which country the user belongs to and the mobile service it uses.

Some Apps on Google play Store may trick you into getting premium subscription 2
Image courtesy; The Hans Media

The apps are generally promoted on online platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Instagram via advertisements that are very catchy.

As of 19th October, 2021 many of these apps have been already removed from the google play store app, but some 80 apps are still present in it.

Users are recommended to uninstall to check whether they are using an appropriate app or not and then uninstall the suspicious ones along with cancelling the SMS subscription.

Nidhi Khandelwal
Nidhi is a tech news/research contributor at TheDigitalHacker. She publishes about techno geopolitics, privacy, and data breach.

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