Monday, 12 June 2017

On 23:57 by admin   No comments
Apple has removed a scam app from the App Store after a popular post on Medium exposed it. Others, however, are still available and attracting victims.
“Mobile Protection: Clean & Security VPN” seemed to promise to keep iPhone owners’ phones clean, secure, and, I suppose, protected. All of those sound pretty good, which is why 50,000 people downloaded the app, and at least 200 people signed up for its weekly subscription service.
In reality, it scammed people at the horrendous rate of $400/month.
And, left unchecked, would have earned its unscrupulous developer almost $1,000,000 this year.
Johnny Lin, a hacker/developer, noticed the app first and unmasked it in a lengthy Medium post.
Essentially the app listed several odd and variously nonsensical services, like protecting you from duplicate contacts (or “dupplicate,” as the fraudster behind the app spelled the word). Among them, however, was an offer to get a “free trial” of a mobile anti-virus product, suggested in this rather rudimentary English: “Instantly use full of smart anti-virus.”
Likely, few technical, skeptical, and educated people are fooled by this type of scam, which Lin says is fairly widespread. However, we’re all familiar with people who are new to technology and less than comfortably with its use, and these vulnerable people are easy targets.
Somehow both the app and its fractured English description made it into the App Store past Apple’s reviewers, and made it to very rarified territory: the top 10 list of Top Grossing Productivity apps, where it was earning a very handsome $80,000/month.
At least 200 people were fooled by the app, or didn’t see the $99 per week subscription, and signed up for the auto-renewing service.

Apple has since deleted the app.

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