- More than 150 fraudulent apps have been removed from the Google Play Store.
- The apps were part of a scheme known as UltimaSMS, in which criminals entice victims to sign up for premium SMS services.
- More than 10.5 million people downloaded the apps that were part of these fraudulent campaigns.
More than 150 fraudulent apps have been removed from the Google Play Store. The Google Play Store apps were part of an operation known as UltimaSMS, in which criminal actors entice victims to sign up for premium SMS services. According to the Avast Antivirus blog, people fell for the fraud because the apps promised money in exchange for services. According to the research, the malicious campaigns’ apps have been downloaded over 10.5 million times and are essentially identical in structure and functioning.
“The apps I discovered are part of the UltimaSMS campaign, which includes 151 apps that were accessible for download on the Google Play Store at one point or another. These apps have been downloaded over 10.5 million times and are remarkably identical in structure and functioning to the fraudulent app used to distribute the premium SMS scam. This leads me to conclude that the entire effort is being orchestrated by a single evil actor or gang. “I’ve termed the campaign “UltimaSMS” because one of the first programmes Avast detected was called Ultima Keyboard 3D Pro,” the company wrote on its blog.
When a user downloads the UltimaSMS app, it checks their location, IMEI, and phone number to figure out the country area code and language to use for the scam. To obtain access to the app’s advertised function, they are need to submit their phone number and, in certain cases, their email address. The fraudulent apps’ sole objective is to.
Custom keyboards, QR code scanners, video and photo editors, spam call blockers, camera filters, and games are among the features of the fake apps. Users from over 80 countries downloaded these apps. Those in the Middle East, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, have downloaded the most apps, followed by users in the United States and Poland.
The following is a complete list of apps that have been removed from the Play Store.