Google bans 150 dangerous apps; see full list, uninstall now

Google has banned another 150 dangerous apps from its Google Play Store.

These 150 malicious SMS scam apps on Play Store were part of a campaign called UltimaSMS wherein malicious actors sign victims up for expensive premium SMS services that earns them money while ultimately leaving victims facing big losses.

UltimaSMS scam campaign is spread across the globe with Android users in India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, UAE, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, US and Poland being the most affected countries.

1. When a user downloads these apps from Google Play Store, the app checks their location, IMEI number, and phone number to determine which country area code and language tBeware! Squid Game app is attacking Android users with malwareo use for the scam.

2. Once the user opens the app, a screen in the local language of their device is set to prompt them to enter their phone number, and in some cases, email address to gain access to the app’s advertised purpose.

3. Upon entering the requested details, the user is subscribed to premium SMS services that can charge upwards of $40 per month depending on the country and mobile carrier.

Avast says that these apps have been downloaded more than 10.5 million times from Google Play Store and “are nearly identical in structure and functionality.”

Here are some of the most downloaded apps in the list of 150 SMS scam apps banned by Google Play Store:

1. Disable the premium SMS option with your carrier. Disabling this option will nullify the UltimaSMS scam.

2. Carefully check reviews. Scam apps often have boosted review averages, but written reviews may reveal the true purpose of an app.

3. Don’t enter a phone number unless you trust the app.

4. Read the fine print available in the app details before entering details.

5. Stick to official app stores – Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store – when downloading apps.