Android warning for millions: The new scam could be the most expensive mistake you make todayWhile most premium Android apps will charge the same as you’d expect to pay for a large Latte to go, those identified by Sophos billed users up to $240, roughly £200, if they failed to hit Cancel on the free trial they started when they used the app for the first time. That’s a lot. To make matters worse, while most well-intentioned Android developers will cancel any outstanding commitments to their app or service when you delete their app from your device – a pretty clear sign that you’re finished with it – these apps would continue to charge. So, Android phone and tablet owners wouldn’t even be able to see the app on their devices when the subscription charges started to come in – making the cancellation process seem even more of a headache. It’s worth pointing out that this practice doesn’t mean the apps are breaking any rules. In its terms and conditions, Google warns users to cancel any subscriptions or additional payments from premium apps before uninstalling them to avoid being billed at a later date. Sophos provided Google with a list of 15 apps guilty of using these techniques. To date, Google has removed 14 of these from its Play Store, which should reassure Android users.
Security experts at Sophos have unearthed a bevy of Android apps designed specifically to fleece users when its free trial ends – charging £200 to your credit card, even after you’ve deleted the app.
Amongst the applications discovered by Sophos are a number of common utility apps, including a basic QR code reader, compass, and calculator. It’s important to note that none of these contain any malicious code and using the app itself won’t damage your device.
Instead, crafty app developers have take advantage of the ability to offer free trials for premium subscription apps available in the Google Play Store to get users to pay over the odds for their apps.