Three dangerous fraudulent mobile phone apps have been banned by search engine Google as part of a crackdown on scammers.
However, experts fear that others will soon come to replace them.
Apps attempt to scam users with money by pretending to be similar to genuine apps, but they are littered with trojans that can hijack your information or start paid subscriptions without the user asking.
One of them has a nasty bug that is able to evade Google’s security detection.
The dangerous bug was found on three apps: Style Message, Blood Pressure App and Camera PDF Scanner.
Others, however, are also imitated to gain user trust.
They are said to include GameBeyond, Tubemate, Minecraft, GTA5 and Vidmate.
Apps containing Trojans are regularly removed from the store, but criminals are quick to replace them and imitate popular brands and names.
Igor Golovin from Kaspersky mentioned. “Most apps completely lack legitimate functionality.
“They start subscribing right after launch, while the user sees a loading window.
“They usually pay for legitimate services on behalf of a user and the scammers take a cut of the money charged.
“These types of subscription fees tend to be taken from the phone’s balance.”
According to experts, cyber crooks download real apps and add malicious code before re-uploading them from App Store under a pseudonym.
But once the app is on your phone, it will try to access text messages or notifications to gather information.
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Joker’s victims were mainly in Saudi Arabia (21.20%), Poland (8.98%) and Germany (6.01%).
Downloading apps from unofficial sources should be avoided.
“For messaging, choose a well-known app with positive reviews.
“Even if you trust an app, you should avoid granting it too many permissions.
“Allow access to notifications only for applications that need it to fulfill their purposes, for example, to forward notifications to portable devices.
“Apps for something like themed wallpapers or photo editing don’t need access to your notifications.”