Today's internet world is bad enough when it comes to viruses, and whomever thought we would have to worry about getting a virus on our smartphone or hackers grabbing bank information from our mobile devices – let alone an out-and-out theft of your money at the Play Store level when simply purchasing a new App. This is especially upsetting when the App in question, 'Virus Shield,' is supposed to prevent viruses and protect your information AFTER it is downloaded onto your device. These thieves want to snatch your money from the very purchase of a useless App.
Kudos to our source, Android Police, for finding out about this application, running some tests, letting the Play Store know what was going on, and having the App taken down from the Play Store. The new App seemed very slick and easy to use – tap one button and your 'Virus Shield' is up and running protecting your smartphone from intruders. But there is just one problem, the application does NOTHING – there is absolutely no protection whatsoever.
The 'Virus Shield' App costs $3.99 – one of the more expensive Apps in the Play Store – yet in just a little over a week's time it jumped to the number one New Paid App with over 10,000 downloads, close to 1,700 reviews with a 4.7 rating out of 5.0 and over 2600 Google+s. Obviously, there must have been some 'fake' reviews written for the App, but the fact that it grew so fast is very remarkable, especially with all of the other Apps for virus protection already in the Play Store. The description read like this, "Prevents harmful apps from being installed on your device" and that it "scans apps, settings, files, and media in real-time," and "protects your personal information." It also claimed to have little drain on your battery and "No, ZERO pesky advertisements!"
When our source said that 'Virus Shield' did absolutely nothing, that wasn't quite true – it does change the shaky looking 'X' on the front of its shield to a nice big 'Check-Mark' to show you that your 'Virus Shield' is up and running! As they state, "this is fraud, pure and simple," and the parent company is aptly named "Deviant Solutions."
Unfortunately, the wide-open nature of the Play Store allows deceitful people the opportunity to take advantage of its 'good nature.' Generally these fakes get flushed out fairly quickly, but this was such an attack that Android Police decided they would give it their 'special attention." We hate to see the Play Store become as restrictive as Apple's App Store, but clearly something, beyond the basic filtering that Google is currently doing, needs to be done.
Please let us know on our Google+ Page what, if anything, Google should be doing to help prevent something like this in the future…we would love to hear your opinions on the matter.