Do Not Let Fleeceware Fool You

Digital security is of utmost importance in the current scenario. A recently discovered fleeceware campaign was found targeting Apple users to leave them penniless on longer use.

The situation

Fleeceware are non-malicious apps that do not provide the services they claim and overcharge users. Avast has issued a warning after the discovery of three VPN apps on the Apple App Store - Buckler VPN, HAT VPN Pro, and Beetle VPN - as a part of the scam. The apps have been downloaded 271,000, 96,000, and 420,000 times, respectively.

Diving deep

  • The three VPN apps are being sold at a price of $9.99 a week, whereas other VPN services cost ten times less.
  • The apps are highly rated, with similarly written enthusiastic reviews - leading to Avast considering them to be fake. Moreover, the similar structure and language shared by the apps suggest that they come from the same source.
  • The Avast team was unable to establish a VPN connection using any of the apps since the subscription options were being repeatedly provided.

The bottom line

While people are turning to VPNs to secure their data, this scam shows how important it is for users to thoroughly research trustworthy VPNs before proceeding with the purchase. Furthermore, users are advised to look for common signs to detect fleeceware - asking for payment information before the free trial begins and multiple reviews containing the terms ‘exciting’ and ‘my love’.