A firm has been fined £50,000 over smartphone apps which tricked people into receiving premium rate text messages. More than 1,000 people were hit with unexpected bills after downloading fake versions of popular games like Angry Birds.
Industry watchdog PhonepayPlus says malicious apps are a "growing threat".
A Latvian firm has been ordered to pay the fine, the first of its kind, and refund another £28,000 to mobile users. Several apps appeared in Google's Android Market last November.
They were designed to look like free versions of games like Angry Birds, Assassin's Creed and Cut The Rope. When people downloaded the trick apps they wouldn't open. Instead they received three SMS messages costing £5 each, although the texts were hidden so people had no idea what had happened until they checked their bills
Tips for downloading apps
• Check who the developer is
• Be careful of apps which ask permission to send and receive SMS messages
• Check your mobile bill
• Report anything suspicious
• If its looks too good to be true, it probably is
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