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

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

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78 Comments

1. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

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

7. AliNSiddiqui

Posts: 382; Member since: Sep 19, 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.

37. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

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

47. vincelongman

Posts: 5694; Member since: Feb 10, 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

10. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

24. papss unregistered

Ted it still is 30000 folks which is nonsense

26. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

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

31. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 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.

34. androtaku

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

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

60. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

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

11. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

AVG for me....

13. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

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

16. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

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

53. express77 unregistered

i am on android. no antivirus, no issue.

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.

48. blingblingthing

Posts: 963; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

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

23. verbalize

Posts: 150; Member since: May 03, 2013

LOL. I love this..

35. KParks23

Posts: 725; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

All samsung users!

36. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

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

38. MR-H-

Posts: 116; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

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

40. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

30,000 users out of......1 billion I will take those odds... all day every day.....

46. vincelongman

Posts: 5694; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

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

49. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

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

58. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

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

73. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

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

2. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

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

3. mayur007

Posts: 593; Member since: Apr 10, 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

4. hurrycanger

Posts: 1761; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

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

74. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

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

5. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 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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