Wednesday, October 20, 2021

In general, avoid Google, Apple and Android app scams

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Hackers are using interest in cryptocurrencies to lure people with promises of earning big profits by investing money in cloud-mining apps. But app scams go beyond cryptos to include things we don’t really need anyway Hackers are using interest in cryptocurrencies to lure people with promises of earning big profits by investing money in cloud-mining apps. These users end up installing malicious apps on their smartphones containing dangerous malware and adware.

Apple claims its App Store offers security and safety for users. However, unscrupulous apps continue to slip through the net.

These apps tricked victims into watching ads, paying for subscription services that averaged monthly fees of $15, and for promises of increased mining capabilities without getting any financial compensations in return.

One of the biggest drivers of these scams is the use of fake positive reviews. A common App Store scam is to make a very simple app targeting popular search keywords, attach aggressive subscription pricing to it, and make it rise high in search results by faking hundreds of 5-star App Store reviews.

Customers for several VPN apps, which allegedly protect users’ data, complained in Apple App Store reviews that the apps told users their devices have been infected by a virus to dupe them into downloading and paying for software they don’t need.

These fake apps then push paywall screens on users and invite them to start a subscription plan. Fake apps may offer free trial periods to make the sale look good and are written in reasonably good English. It is possible to see how they could bypass an automatic spam filter algorithm.

In another example, A QR code reader app that remains on the store tricks customers into paying $4.99 a week for a service that is now included in the camera app of the iPhone. Some apps also fraudulently present themselves as being from major brands such as Amazon and Samsung.

Among the 1.8 million apps on the App Store, scams are hiding in plain sight. Of the 1,000 highest-grossing apps on the App Store, nearly 2% are scams, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

And those apps have bilked consumers out of an estimated $48 million during the time they’ve been on the App Store, according to market research firm Appfigures. Funny enough, Apple profits from these apps because it takes a cut of up to 30% of all revenue generated through the App Store.

Apple says it is constantly improving its methods for sniffing out scams and usually catches them within a month of when they hit the App Store. In a recent news release, Apple said it employed new tools to verify the authenticity of user reviews and last year kicked 470,000 app developer accounts off the App Store. Developers, however, can create new accounts and continue to distribute new apps. Here are 9 popular but dangerous Android apps that can infect a mobile device, steal important files and passwords, and even bypass two-factor authentication.

Phones don’t have hard drives to defragment. The best these apps can do is delete other apps to make more space on the phone’s storage. And that’s something people can do themselves.

News Summary:

  • In general, avoid Google, Apple and Android app scams
  • Check all news and articles from the latest Security news updates.
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