There are millions of Android users across the globe and there are multiple reasons behind its popularity, but the security concerns are also endless. New malicious apps hit the Google Play Store every few weeks, while some steal money, others leak user data. Avast, the digital security giant, recently identified a wave of malicious mobile apps on Google Play targeting gamers, especially fans of the popular Minecraft video game.
These Fleeceware apps try to dupe users of their money by offering new skins, colorful wallpapers, or changes to the game, but by charging users disproportionately every month.
These applications offer users an attractive service for a short three-day free trial period. After that, the app automatically and subtly charges up to $30 per week. Avast explained that fraudsters expect the user to forget the application installed and not noticing its short trial version, or the actual subscription costs associated with it.
“Scams of this nature take advantage of those who don’t always read the fine print details of every app they download. In this case, young children are particularly at risk because they may think they are innocently downloading a Minecraft accessory, but not understand or may not pay attention to the details of the service to which they are subscribing,” said Ondrej David, malware analysis team lead at Avast.
Avast has found seven of them to be particularly troublesome and has even reported these apps to Google.
List of Fleeceware apps shared by Avast
1. Skins, Mods, Maps for Minecraft PE
2. Skins for Roblox
3. Live Wallpapers HD & 3D Background
4. MasterCraft for Minecraft
5. Master for Minecraft
6. Boys and Girls Skins
7. Maps Skins and Mods for Minecraft
What you should do?
Avast claims that users have already downloaded some of these apps over a million times and recommends not only uninstalling them, but also cancelling all associated subscriptions directly from the Play Store to protect their data and money .
“We urge our customers to remain vigilant when downloading any app from unknown developers and to always carefully research user reviews and billing agreements before subscribing,” it added.