Symantec details Google Play Store one-click billing fraud

April 2, 2013
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The latest Google Play Store horror story seems to have arrived. Symantec has recently begun to share details of a one-click billing scam. The silver lining here, this issue does not appear like it will affect all that many. You see, while serious, there are only roughly 200 apps that seem to be included. Not to mention, they appear to be limited to Japan. Of course, this should give a bit of caution for users elsewhere though.

Anyway, these 200 or so apps are one-click billing scams. That is to say they are tricking people who have set out down download adult-oriented material. The details are showing these 200 apps as coming from more than 50 developers. The interesting part here, they only appear to have been downloaded roughly 5,000 times in the previous two months.

Still, while that may be a relatively short time and a low number of downloads, these types of scams do appear to be beneficial for the person responsible. It is being reported that these scammers generally net about 100,000 yen ($1,000 US) for each person they trick. In addition to these apps being adult-oriented, some are also now branching over to dating style apps.

The key here, while the app itself is the cause of the bad, a download alone will not necessarily cause you to be out any money. To that point, details coming from Symantec reveal that they are not entirely sure of the number of people that have paid as compared to the number of people that simply downloaded the app. One item that suggests people are paying though -- some of these particular 'developers' appear to have been doing business for more than two months.

The one-click scam aside, this is not the first time we are seeing issues with Android apps. One of the more popular issues we saw in recent history dealt with Temple Run when the fake apps landed in the Google Play Store ahead of the release of Temple Run 2. With that, we may also suggest using an app that scans such as Lookout, which just so happens to be available for free.

[via Information Week]


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