A Latvian firm has been ordered to pay a fine and refund £28,000 to the mobile victims. Several apps that looked like free versions of games such as Angry Birds, Assassin’s Creed and Cut the Rope appeared on the Google Play store and when users downloaded these apps, the app would send three text messages costing 5 pounds each. The texts were hidden so users had no idea what happened until they checked their bill.
John Gladstone from Southampton reveals his experience and says, “I was full of excitement, I opened the box and downloaded every app that I could see on the Android market which had good reviews or if I recognised the name. I’m always quite careful with my phone I never use it for internet banking, but I didn’t count on the fact that there’s another way people can get your money.”
He said that he only realised that he’d been using the premium messaging service after a call from him phone provider.
Google doesn’t check apps before it appears on the Google Play Store like Apple and BlackBerry do and hence run the risk of having malicious malware in the market. Google says apps which violate its policies and considered malware will always be removed from Google Play, as happened in this case.