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Downloading these popular Android and iPhone apps could leave you with a big bill to pay

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Downloading these popular Android and iPhone apps could leave you with a big bill to pay
Android smartphone users are no strangers to warnings about dangerous apps lurking in the depths of the Google Play Store, but the latest threat impacts iPhone owners as well as their Android counterparts. Users have been put on red-alert after security researchers at Avast published a report that singled-out hundreds of apps designed to trick users into spending huge sums of money once the software is downloaded and installed on their devices.
This type of threat is called “fleeceware” as users are often unaware of the fees they’ll end up paying for using an app – so the developers are fleecing them by keeping quiet about the costs incurred after installing the apps.

It’s clearly a big problem, Avast has said this latest batch of applications have already been downloaded over one billion times between iPhone and Android and generated a staggering $ 400 million (£300 million) in revenue for the developers behind these “fleeceware” apps.

To tempt users into downloading them, the developers offer a free trial, but once this is over, the automatic fees begin to start taking money from bank accounts associated with your Play Store or App Store account. Of course, this is the same way that legitimate apps, like Candy Crush, work – but what separates “fleeceware” is that you’re often charged without getting anything in return, or charged an exorbitant amount for what you’re getting in return (a few wallpapers, for example).

One of the apps spotted by Avast offers a short free trial but once that has ended, users then get charged a whopping $ 66 per week subscription, potentially costing the victim $ 3,432 (£2,500) per year unless cancelled.

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READ MORE: WhatsApp warning: new messaging block confirmed for some iPhone users

Avast has now published advice on how to avoid these fleeceware apps with the security team saying, “With subscriptions becoming more prevalent in app stores, users are encouraged to be vigilant when downloading and using applications.”

To avoid fleeceware, Avast says:

• Be careful with free trials of less than a week. Applications that offer free trials for very short periods should be handled with caution. Make sure you understand how much you will be charged and that the app is worth the recurring fee.

• Be sceptical of viral advertisements for apps. The advertisements for fleeceware are likely to have enticing messaging and images to attract users’ attention. They likely do not reflect the actual functionality of the application.

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• Read the small print. A closer look will likely reveal the true price of the app. Read the application’s details carefully, paying close attention to the ‘In-app purchases’ sections. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the conditions of what you’re subscribing to, even if it is a free trial, as there may be automatic charges thereafter.

• Secure your payments. Ensure that your payment methods are locked behind a password or biometric check. This can prevent accidental subscriptions by children as well.

HERE’S A FULL LIST OF THE APPS MENTIONED BY AVAST

Android users need to delete the following apps from their devices ~

Piano Free – Keyboard with Magic Tiles Music Games

edjing Mix – Free Music DJ app

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Real Guitar Free – Chords, Tabs & Simulator Games

Fancy Slime

FortuneScope: live palm reader and fortune teller

ToonMe – Cartoon yourself photo editor

Guitar – play music games, pro tabs and chords!

Drums: real drum set music games to play and learn

Drum Set Music Games & Drums Kit Simulator

Drum Pads – Beat Maker Go

Piano – Play & Learn Music

Beat Maker Pro – music maker drum pad

Magic Face:face aging, young camera, fantastic app

ToonApp: AI Cartoon Photo Editor, Cartoon Yourself

Palm Secret – Palm Reader, Cartoon Photo, Fun

Palmistry

Daily horoscope, palmistry, numerology – Astroline

Insta Story Art Maker for Instagram – StoryChic

FX Master

Karaoke – Sing Songs!

Relax – Daily Palmistry, future baby, palm Scanner

Life Advisor: Baby predict, Palm Reader&Face aging

QR & Barcode Scanner

Palm reader – horoscope, palmistry and divinations

Palmistry: Predict Future by Palm Reading

Nebula: Horoscope & Astrology

Life Palmistry – AI Palm&Gender&Prediction

Miami Rope Hero -Light Speed Frog Black Ninja Hole

Motorbike Games 2020 – New Bike Racing Game

Sticky Slime – ASMR Slime Simulator

TeasEar – ASMR Meditation & Slime Simulator Games

Realistic ASMR Slime Simulator

Slime Simulator – Super ASMR Game

BeSticky – Sticker Maker for WhatsApp

DJ it! – Music Mixer

Jambl: Beat Maker & Dj Music Creator

Loop Maker Pro – Music Maker

Piano – music games to play & learn songs for free

Guitar Tuner Pro – Tune your Guitar, Bass, Ukulele

Guitar Play – Games & Songs

Famio: Connect With Family

AiScan: All QR Code, Scanner & Barcode Reader

PDF Document Scanner

Photo Editor Pro – Kooky

Palmistry — a Quick Chinese Palm Reading Guide

SeekMe – Palm Scan Cartoon Camera Baby Prediction

My Palmistry & Astrology: Face Aging & Palm Reader

Jelly: Slimes & ASMR, antistress simulation games

Sticky Slime – Fancy Slime Simulator ASMR

Horoscope 2019 and Palmistry – Everyday Prediction

Slimes satisfy asmr. Make diy. Slime maker

Plant Lens – Plant & Flower Identification

Light Presets

FortuneScan – Predict Future by Palm Reading

Eon – Astrology and Daily Horoscope

Fortunescan – Palmistry, Palm Reader & Horoscope

Stellium Daily Horoscope

PalmistryHD – Palm Reading & Daily Horoscope

Palm Expert – Palmistry, Horoscope & Tarot Reading

Soular

Astrology & Palm Master

Facetory: Face Yoga & Facial Exercises

Blossom – Plant Identification app

Music Zen – Relaxing Sounds

PDF Document Reader

DayStress Relief: Relaxation & Antistress app

Tarot Numerology: card reading

Astrospot: horoscope matches, daily predictions

Perfect Slime Simulator – ASMR & Satisfying game

Face Scan: Horoscope & Astrology

iPhone owners need to delete the following apps from their devices ~

Filterra – Photo Editor

Frames – Picture Collage Maker

Facelab – Face Editor & Beauty

TeasEar: ASMR Slime Antistress

StoryChic – IG Story Templates

Photo Splash – photo editor

Nebula: Horoscope & Astrology

Sweet Selfie:Photo Editor, Cam

Cartoon yourself & caricature

Astroline: The Daily Horoscope

FLMX – Video Editor

Stickerfy: Sticker Maker

Pixomatic – Background eraser

SpeedPro Slow speed video edit

Fortunescope: Palm Reader

Music Zen – Relaxing Sounds

Sticker Maker – BeSticky

Picsjoy: Photo Editor & Cutout

Photo To Sketch – Drawing book

FX Master

Mood Balance: Journal, Tracker

Presets for Lightroom – Vidl

Jigsaw Puzzle – Brain Games

Lift: Story Maker

Dazzle – Insta stories editor

Baby Sticker- Track Milestones

Life Palmistry – AI Palm & Tag

Girl Games & Fun Cooking Games

Photoly Remove Object & Editor

Facetory: Face Yoga & Exercise

VOCHI Cool Video Effects Maker

Lucky Life – Future Seer

Voice Changer – Avatar

Face Seer -Time Traces

Dazz Cam- D3D Photo Effect

Translator -AI & Real time

Picsloop-Cartoon & D3D Effect

Beat.ly Music Video Maker

Funny Clip Maker

Pixel – Color by Number

Cartoon Photo Editor-Comic Art

Youni – Photo Effects, Presets

UltraFX – Effect Video Maker

Girl Games: Unicorn Slime

Everbloom – Stories Editor

Impresso – Insta Story Editor

PDF Scanner: Document Scan

Zodianic Astrology & Horoscope

Beat.ly – Music Video Maker

Dizzi – Photo & Video Effects

TikCut – Video Editor Tempo MV

Hyper Cleaner: Clean Phone

Photic – Pic & Photo Editor

Highlight Story Cover Maker!

Cartoonify Photo Editor Camera

PicMagic- Cartoon Photo Editor

Cartoons Me – Photo Art Editor

Vidos – Music Video Maker

Camera+: Photo Video&Cutout

Piconic – Photo Editor&Collage

Sweet Pics – Baby Photo Editor

FX Mage – Magic Video Effects

Slimy: Anxiety Relief Slime 3D

Frame – Slideshow Video Maker

Auto Sticker Maker Studio

iCons – Icon Changer App +

ToonApp Cartoon Photo Editor

MagicFX – Magic Video Effects

Horoscope 2019 and Palm Reader

PolyColor – Color by Polygon

Famous: Celebrity Look Alike

BoomArt – Auto Cutout

Slime Boutique by TeasEar

Handset – Second Phone Number

Pixpic Color by Number

SlidePic – Slideshow Maker

Widja – Photo Widgets

Astro+ Horoscope & Astrology

FaceMe-Fun Personality Tests

Watercolor Effect Oil Painting

Widget PLUS+ – Photo & Weather

Wordy – Word Search Adventure

KeyTune – Custom keyboard

aipic – Magic Photo Editor

PicsFX:Photo&Video Editor

Path – Horoscope & Astrology

Magic Makeup – Tattoo Design

tmm – Chat Fiction Stories

Photo Collage – Collageable

Followers+-My Ins Reports

Hub – Story Templates Maker

iWidget Pro : Custom widgets

VidTempo – Music Video Maker

Video Puzzles – Magic Puzzle

Funny Face Swap Me – GIF Maker

Body Editor : Manly Body&Hair

Flame: Smart Online App

Menu Maker!

Fortunescan: Palmistry Online

Video Maker – Photo Effects

edjing Mix – dj app

Guitar – Chords, Tabs & Games

Piano – Lessons & Tiles Games

Beat Maker Go – Make Music

WeDrum: Drums, Real Drum Games

Metronome – Tap Tempo & Rhythm

Guitar Tuner – Ukulele & Bass

Guitar – real games & lessons

Drums: Play Beats & Drum Games

Piano – Music & keyboard game

Guitar Tuner Pro, Bass,Ukulele

Beat maker pro – DJ Drum Pad

Karaoke Songs – Voice Singing

Piano Crush – Keyboard Games

edjing Pro – music remix maker

DJ it! – Music Mixer Pad

Jambl: DJ Band & Beat Maker

Guitar Play – Games & Songs

Memoristo: Brain Test, IQ Game

Loop Maker Pro – Music Maker

Metronome Pro – Beat & Tempo

Equalizer+ HD music player

Bass Booster Volume Power Amp

Equalizer Fx: Bass Booster App

ScanGuru: PDF Document Scanner

Drink Water ∙ Daily Reminder

Password Manager – Lock Apps

Live Wallpaper Maker: 4K Theme

RECOLLECT: Color by Number

Avatar Maker Character Creator

Translator Guru: Voice & Text

Ringtones HD ∙ Ringtone Maker

Scanner App ∙ Scan & Sign PDF

Translate Camera – Speak On

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Downloading these popular Android and iPhone apps could leave you with a big bill to pay
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