New game scam on Google Play

Νέα απάτη με παιχνίδι στο Google Play© Shutterstock New game scam on Google Play

ESET urges Android users to be very careful with a new scam that was discovered on Google Play. This is the “Pingu Cleans Up” game, targeted primarily at users who have stored credit card information in their Google Play account, trying to exploit the moment they are abstract by playing the game.

The scam application fools users through three phases to subscribe to a weekly subscription of €5.49, using the legal payment method of Google Play. Subscription continues to be automatically paid each week, unless the user requests to unsubscribe. The technique used for the initial recording is based on the logic that some users, in order to continue the game, will mechanically hit the replies that appear in the windows in each of the three misleading stages without paying much attention to what is written. The app was first uploaded to Google Play on February 8, 2018, and 50,000 to 1,000,000 installations were made before being removed following a notice from ESET to Google.

To avoid matching scam applications, ESET advises users to be alert to the presence of warning signs. For example, in the case of ‘Pingu Cleans Up’, users have had important indications that this is a scam:

  • “Terms of Use” were not active,
  • There was a request for a payment immediately after the launch -despite the fact that the app appears to be free on Google Play
  • At the same time there were negative ratings and reviews on Google Play

Therefore, before installing an application, users can check their ratings and reviews, and especially if children are accessing the device, ESET recommends creating a separate account that is not linked to a credit card.

Finally, a trusted mobile security solution will help protect the Android device from the latest threats.



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