Google Play Found to Have 23 ‘Fleeceware’ Apps Luring Customers Into Paying Exorbitant Subscription: Sophos

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Google Play Found to Have 23 ‘Fleeceware’ Apps

Around 23 “fleeceware” applications have been found in Google Play by the company. These apps are claimed to fool users to pay huge amounts of subscription fees. This news was released by Sophos researchers in their blog post. 

The new improvement arrives after 25 Android apps were found by Sophos to fleece users on Google Play. To manage things, Google has updated their developer policies and have also added many new directives. 

According to the Sophos’ research team, despite updating the policies, there are still some developers who are luring users to pay huge loads of money as subscription fees. 

What else Sophos discovered?

Sophos has conducted a new analysis in which they have found that developers are making use of misleading languages to dupe innocent users on Google Play. 

Some of the developers have found a way to get customers to explore the app past the webpage and then bomb them with various subscription offers that pop up though they want to exit the app.

Sophos has also discovered that Fleeceware developers on Playstore are known to make use of “blind subscription” mannequin. This doesn’t allow the customers to see the subscription fee that they have to pay for an app.

Sophos have further discovered that a few developers trick customers to pay a lot of money using a print of their terms and conditions in the wrong way.

What Google has to say about this?

Google said that the subscription offers focuses on a free trial. This is why customers may not realise that will be charged by the end of the trial. 

Some of the developers are also using spam subscriptions along with blind subscriptions to lure poor customers. In this case, the customers are bombed with various other apps, as soon as they sign up for the one that they want to download. 

Chandraiah said that there are a lot of users who end up spending unnecessarily on many such apps because they are not aware of it.

He also added that some applications display their terms and subscription in grey on a plain white background. In some cases, they can also use extremely small fonts that are impossible to see as they nicely blend with the background. 

Although Google has introduced new derivate in their policies, they have not been successful to stop all Fleeceware developers. Some of the developers are still carrying on with their business.

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