Beware of these applications that hide fake trial versions

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Of the apps photo editing based on filters, horoscopes, clairvoyance or palmistry services…, these applications which do not have extraordinary functionalities and which are available elsewhere for free all have one thing in common: they are Fleeceware. Free applications for 3 to 7 days, which become chargeable if you want to use them longer. They are excessively expensive because, despite their futility, they generally manage to extract 30 euros per month from the user. The catch is that these apps are downloadable from the app stores at Google and Apple.

It’s a pain, since these applications do not have code malicious and therefore bypass the security measures of the hosts. For example, Apple says it reviews more than 100,000 apps and app updates each week. Some 60% pass this milestone and among them, these Fleecewares still manage to thrive on theAppStore. Applications that, in addition to generating significant income for their authors, also allow Apple to collect a commission on each sale (between 15 and 30%), which makes it de facto a beneficiary of these scams.

Apple also beneficiary of the scam

In all, according to estimates, these unscrupulous developers would have reaped $400 million from users who have been fooled. The reason this system works so well is that people usually forget to cancel these subscriptions or simply assume that uninstalling the apps in question automatically terminates the corresponding subscriptions. For example, during the month of June, 7.2 million people downloaded Fleeceware. The authors of these apps were able to earn more than $8 million in just a few weeks.

But one can wonder if the hosts really make an effort. Because, still on the PlayStore, according to a report by VPNCheck, 84 fraudulent iOS apps are still thriving a year after they were discovered by security firm Avast. These 84 apps generate more than $100 million in revenue each year, according to SensorTower figures provided to Avast. On the App storeat the moment, Fleeceware mainly concerns children’s game applications, or services related to cryptocurrencies.

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