PhonepayPlus, UKâ€™s telephone services regulator, fined A1 Agregator Limited Â£50,000 for enabling the premium rate payment system that allowed perpetrators to steal from innocent smart phone users.
Google Play, former known as Android Market, was flooded with malicious applications guised as popular game brands such as Assassins Creed, Cut the Rope or Angry Birds at the end of last year. Advertised as free, these phony apps were siphoning the unwary usersâ€™ money bit by bit in the background.
The applications could be downloaded, but never install or open properly. Instead, users would lose Â£15 each time they tried to open the popular â€œfreeâ€ games.Â Users would receive three empty SMS messages of Â£5 each without knowing why.
PhonepayPlus fined premium rate number provider A1 Agregator Limited Â£50,000 fine and had the company pay the approximately 1,391 UK victims the estimated Â£27,850 stolen from them.
â€œThe tribunal ordered that everyone affected will get their money back and that a strong fine was imposed. The digital economy is vital to the UKâ€™s future and we will continue to take action to maintain the confidence of the public.â€ Patrick Guthrie, PhonepayPlusâ€™ Director of Strategy and Communications announced.
It is essential that user double check the permissions required by the applications they chose to download and install on their smart devices.
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