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Fake Android app tricks users to subscription scam

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  • The app, known as ‘Number Finder’, falsely claimed to provide phone number information of anyone, for subscribers.
  • It had been downloaded over a million times on the Google Play store.

An Android app that claimed to reveal phone numbers of anyone has directed users to pay for subscriptions. The app, which is known as ‘Number Finder’, was discovered by security researcher Nikolaos Chrysaidos of Avast. When checked, the app always returned the same result regardless of the number entered, and prompted users to subscribe in order to reveal more information. The app had over one million installations on the Google Play store.

The big picture

  • ‘Number Finder’ was published by a developer called POZTechnology. It also published other apps and was reported to have collective downloads of more than 11 million.
  • The app had two options in the interface. The first option asked users to sign up for a monthly subscription, whereas the second option was the feature for searching the number.
  • After conducting an analysis, Avast said that the app always showed the same result for any number entered in the app. It displayed, “This number is identified by 1 people. Get a free-started subscription to see all results unlimitedly.”
  • It was found that the app did not have any other functionality.

How to stay aware of such scams?

Chrysaidos advises users to be wary of such apps that lead to subscription-related scams. “Subscription scams have been trending for a while now in both app stores – Google and Apple. Users should be careful using apps that require a subscription to use the basic functionality,” he told.

It is recommended that users read reviews and ratings of applications on official mobile platforms before downloading them.

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