As we recently learned, not all virus scanning apps are created equal. In this case we’re talking about the Virus Shield app, which wasn’t actually scanning anything. The app had been selling for $3.99 and while it was removed from the Play Store on April 6th, reports from Appbrain show it had been downloaded more than 30,000 times.
The developer had told The Guardian they “never intended to scam” the users. But as we mentioned earlier — the app wasn’t actually scanning anything. The app is no longer in the Play Store and as such, users no longer have to worry about downloading it. More interesting today is the follow up coming from Google.
If you were one that had downloaded the app you will want to be on the lookout for an email from Google. Specifically, from Google Play Support. This email offers details about getting a refund for the purchase along with an additional $5 credit.
“Google Play’s policies strictly prohibit false claims like these, and in light of this, we’re refunding you for your “Virus Shield” purchase. You should see funds returned to your account within the next 14 days.
Additionally we’d like to offer you $5 promotional credit, which can be used to purchase digital content on Google Play such as apps, games, books, music and movies.”
That isn’t where the interesting bit stopped though. The email was rather blunt and honest. There was mention about how “the app made the false claim that it provided one-click virus protection” but that “in reality, it did not.”
Overall this seems like a good end to something that could have been a really bad situation. And by that, we are thankful the app didn’t do anything as opposed to doing something harmful.