It’s no secret that app stores on all platforms have their fair share of fraudulent apps. Most of these apps will take your money and do nothing of what they say in the description or are free to install but end up doing damage in other ways, such as by selling your information or straight up installing malware.
The open nature of Android’s Play Store means it has been an easy target for scammers who don’t have to pass any security checks as one would have to on Apple’s App Store. This probably explains why there are so many antivirus apps on Android. But what happens when an antivirus app itself tries to scam you?
Well, that is exactly what has happened. Thanks to some impressive digging around by Android Police, they have found out that the No. 1 app on the Play Store Top New Paid list called Virus Shield is a complete and utter scam. Not only is it not a real antivirus app but it also costs $3.99. Android Police managed to go through the app code to find out that it really isn’t doing anything and also found that the developer has previously been banned from another website for trying to swindle users.
I’m sure Google will eventually take note of the app and take it down but you can help accelerate the process by opening the app on your phone or browser and flag it as inappropriate. If you have downloaded it already, leave a bad review so others can see and avoid it until it is taken down.
Update: The app has now been taken down.