There’s another report of scammy adware on the Google Play Store, and this time almost 10 million people downloaded it. CSIS Security Group found an app called ‘Updates for Samsung’ that shepherds users into parting with their cash in multiple ways.
The app is still live on the Google Play Store, so please don’t download it. While it’s not malware in the traditional sense, it’s still not good.
The only official way to get Samsung updates is from Samsung.
Image: Google Play
This app shows that Google really has a big issue with the Play Store. The ‘Updates for Samsung’ app has almost 90,000 reviews, with the majority showing five-stars. I’d bet $20 that the bulk (if not all) of those good reviews are fake, with the scamming developer manipulating the Play Store to bring their app to the top of search results.
Other shitty things with this app include:
The developer of this app is not affiliated with Samsung, despite offering subscriptions to download Samsung’s phone firmware updates
Payment for unlocks are handled through a third-party site, not through Google Play as Google requires
The app has a subscription for $34.99 yearly for downloading firmware, and a $19.99 charge for unlocking any SIM – both are scams
Advertising is stuffed everywhere in the app, so the devs are really double-dipping with ad network cash and your credit card details
As always, be careful what you download, even if the source is trusted, as the Google Play Store should be. Never pay for anything inside an Android app that doesn’t use the Google Play payment framework (the one that pops up to use the cards stored in your Google account), and remember that Android device manufacturers give their firmware updates away for free.
What do you think? What does Google need to do to keep apps like this from popping up on the Play Store? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.