Last week we reported that a seemingly useful Virus Scanner app that was found to be fake, was basically scamming people into spending their hard earned money on an app that did literally nothing. The fake app, which was a virus scanner application called Virus Shield, was the number one paid app in the Play Store not more than a few days after it had been uploaded in. The app reportedly racked up thousands of downloads-many of them seemingly fake as well, with fake positive comments to accompany the download- and as you could imagine at $3.99 each download, that amounted to a whole lot of money and around $90,000 total. The app had since been pulled from the store and was removed late night on April 6th.
We’re learning today that the developer behind the application, one Jesse Carter and founder of “Deviant Solutions”(are we the only ones that see that name as a red flag?), had told The Guardian in an interview that the publishing of the app without its intended working code to actually provide users with virus scanning qualities, was all a foolish mistake and that users would be getting a refund of the money they spent on the app. Jesse had stated in the interview that the version of the app that had been uploaded and then download by some 30,000 plus users, was an early test build that was not meant to be released to the public, and says that it was a mistake by one of the developers. It sounds to us like Jesse is placing the blame elsewhere for something that seems a lot like it was intentional.
Carter further goes on to explain that there was a mix up with the app that went out, and the version of the app that was meant to be released, and because of the huge mistake that Deviant Solutions may end up deciding to re-release their app for free in the future, but not before it has the working code that actually provides a service. You can imagine why we’d be a little skeptical about the whole mistake scenario, given some details that were pointed out by android police after Carters interview. Not only were there tons of comments from users with what we could only assume were fake profiles giving the app stellar reviews, the app was updated during its short lived time on the play store from version 1.0 to 2.2. We find it hard to believe that no one would notice vital pieces of the software missing that makes it do anything at all, while actually pushing out an update to users almost a week after the initial release. We suppose that we’ll find out if Carter’s story has any truth to it if Virus Shield ever gets re-released as a free app with the intended code. We suspect though that if that does happen, people will be less likely to download the app, whether it be again or for the first time due to lack of trust. We’ll hold judgement until more information comes to light.