Remove these fake Android apps ASAP, before they take your money!

Scammers and hackers lurk in the shadows of Google Play, waiting for you to download one of their phoney apps. Google disables such harmful apps on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean that some of them haven’t made their way into your phone. Avast, a cybersecurity software business, has reported on a months-long scam scheme. It’s called UltimaSMS, and as the name implies, it distributes fraudulent programmes to unwary victims via SMS. There are 151 apps in total that are part of the fraud effort, which you can see here. The campaign’s purpose is to sign up victims for costly SMS services and drain money from their plans/accounts.

“The apps discovered are essentially identical in structure, meaning the same base app structure is repurposed numerous times. These copies are disguised as genuine apps through well constructed app profiles on the Play Store. The profiles feature catchy photos and enticing app descriptions alongside often high review averages. However, upon closer inspection, they have generic privacy policy statements and feature basic developer profiles including generic email addresses. They also tend to have numerous negative reviews from users that correctly identified the apps as scams or have fallen for the scam,” the guys from Avast explained. To make matters worse, some of these apps were distributed through popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, among others.

As you can see from the list, some of these apps look legit and can fool some people into thinking they’re useful tools. Downloading and installing one of them will let them check your phone’s location, IMEI, and number to get the country you’re in. Opening one of the fake apps will prompt a screen asking you to enter your phone number and/or email address. The premium SMS service cost as much as $40 a month and you would be charged weekly until you figure out what’s going on.

News Summary:

  • Remove these fake Android apps ASAP, before they take your money!
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