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30,000 Android users fooled into buying bogus anti-virus app at $3.99 a pop

Posted: , by Alan F.

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30,000 Android users fooled into buying bogus anti-virus app at $3.99 a pop
First appearing in the Google Play Store on March 28th, Virus Shield soon became the third most popular paid app in the market. Priced at $3.99, Virus Shield was supposed to search through your Android smartphone, looking for viruses, all without affecting the battery life on the handset. Android users ate it up. Bolstered by a number of five-star reviews, 30,000 paid subscribers had signed up after one week. As it turns out, all of these people were scammed.

So what did the developer, Deviant Solutions, claim that the app did? The description of the app claimed that it "Prevents harmful apps from being installed on your device...scans apps, settings, files, and media in real time... and protects your personal information." It also claimed to have very little effect on battery life, and had no ads. The only problem is that all the app did was change an image with an "X" to one with a check mark after a single tap of the screen.

A report published on Friday said that decompiling the code revealed that the app was worthless. In response to this report, Jesse Carter, the developer, claimed that it was all a mistake. Carter said that the app uploaded to the Google Play Store was a placeholder that was accidentally switched for the version with the anti-virus code. Which seems hard to believe considering that the Virus Shield was updated from version 1.0 to version 2.2 during the period it was available in the Google Play Store.

The good news is that the app has been pulled from the store, and everyone who paid for Virus Shield should be getting their $3.99 back. What is amazing is that many of the four and five star ratings were legit. 


source: The Guardian, AndroidPolice via MobileSyrup

78 Comments
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posted on 11 Apr 2014, 14:52 18

1. Ninetysix (Posts: 2460; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Android users are very smart. They will never fall for something like this...oh wait :( n/m..

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 15:13 15

7. AliNSiddiqui (Posts: 382; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)


The app is popular with good reviews so I don't get how it's the users fault. Google should screen the store more heavily.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 17:38 8

37. sgtdisturbed47 (Posts: 664; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


The first issue I see is people putting an AV program on a damn phone.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 20:28

47. vincelongman (Posts: 4575; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Also AV program from an unknown company and for Android which like all other mobile OSes doesn't need one
The dev probably bought 99.99% of those purchase himself

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 15:25 16

10. tedkord (Posts: 12225; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Yes, that 0.004% of android users really means something.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 16:06 5

24. papss (unregistered)


Ted it still is 30000 folks which is nonsense

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 16:11 2

26. Finalflash (Posts: 3210; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


He has a point though, that is pretty much a rounding error if anything.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 16:38 1

31. ecmedic4 (Posts: 338; Member since: 02 May 2013)


I would consider 30,000 ppl a big deal, considering at 3.99 a pop, that is $119,700.00 which is a crap load of money.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 17:14 1

34. androtaku (Posts: 242; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)


bogus apps as top paid item in play store also really mean something

posted on 12 Apr 2014, 06:53

60. JunitoNH (Posts: 1896; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


Well it was pull from the store, if left unchecked, who knows how many would had end up paying for it.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 15:30 2

11. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


AVG for me....

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 15:31 6

13. sip1995 (Posts: 1592; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


Nothing for me, i've got a Windows phone.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 15:37 8

16. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Soon for me same as you....#930

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 23:33 1

53. express77 (unregistered)


i am on android. no antivirus, no issue.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 16:02 5

21. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


Smart you say? I never or have the NEED buying a VIRUS app for my ANDROID Phone. So I'm one of the smart ones here.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 20:48 1

48. blingblingthing (Posts: 538; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


Exactly, keep getting apps from Playstore or from XDA. simple

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 16:05

23. verbalize (Posts: 126; Member since: 03 May 2013)


LOL. I love this..

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 17:18 4

35. KParks23 (Posts: 639; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


All samsung users!

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 17:37 2

36. sgtdisturbed47 (Posts: 664; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


The first issue I see is people putting an AV program on a damn phone.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 17:39 1

38. MR-H- (Posts: 116; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


So what's the big deal,,,,? It's only 4$,,, considering how much Apple rips of its users is astronomical,,,!

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 18:45 2

40. jroc74 (Posts: 6015; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


30,000 users out of......1 billion

I will take those odds... all day every day.....

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 20:23 1

46. vincelongman (Posts: 4575; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Actually 99.99% of those were most likely fake and bought by the dev

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 21:38 1

49. jroc74 (Posts: 6015; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Might be right since it was so many positive reviews...or fake reviews.

posted on 12 Apr 2014, 04:22 1

58. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 3029; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Like 30.000 users are representative for all millions of Android users.

posted on 12 Apr 2014, 13:57

73. amasog (Posts: 351; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)


you nailed it man! LOL!!!!!!!

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 14:53 1

2. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Google needs to go after them for their users...

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 14:54

3. mayur007 (Posts: 569; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


i thought only apple knows it how to fool people .. :P

google too can

bcoz google is responsible for this apps surviving .. now gone though

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 14:59

4. hurrycanger (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)


Wow, this sucks...
I feel bad for these people who were willing to pay for this crap.

posted on 12 Apr 2014, 13:58

74. amasog (Posts: 351; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)


remember, they are android users!! you see how gullible they are?? LOLOLOLOL!!

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 15:01 4

5. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Man my brain my memory glitch fck. this is atleast 2 week old news and if i'm not wrong you published it last week.

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