Avoid These 3 Scam Apps Still Listed on Play Store (20 Million+ Installs)

According to the software company Dr. Web (via PC) A new category of activity tracking apps has popped up on the Google Play Store, generating over 20 million downloads. What makes these three tracking apps so attractive to Android users? They bill themselves as health trackers and pedometers that give you an incentive to get in shape by promising to pay cash rewards to those who reach certain goals.

Do not install these three apps; They are still listed on the Google Play Store

Dr.Web’s report indicates that it is often impossible to obtain these rewards as users must accumulate a large number of rewards before being forced to watch dozens of commercials in order to get paid. After viewing all of these ads, users were advised to watch more in order to “speed up” the rewards process. Even after all, the report states, “the apps did not verify any of the payment-related data that users provided, so the chances of receiving any of the promised money from these apps are very slim.”

Three apps mentioned in the report remain in the Google Play Store. They are:
  • Lucky Step – Walking Tracker with 10 million downloads.
  • WalkingJoy with 5 million downloads.
  • Lucky Habit: Health tracker with 5 million downloads.

All three applications communicate with the same command and control server. Attackers typically use such servers to send directives to malware-infected systems. With all three apps connected to the same remote server, they obviously have the same developer. It is also noted that previous versions of Lucky Step-Walking Tracker wrongly said that users had the option to convert their rewards into gift cards for different online stores.

Remember, these crooked developers make money when you see their ads. The more ads you see, the more you earn.

The Lucky Step-Walking Tracker app has finally been updated and the functionality that would convert rewards into cash has been removed and the interface elements that would be exploited to make this conversion are gone. All previously accumulated rewards instantly became worthless.

The only thing you can do is to protect yourself from installing malicious apps

If you’ve been using the PhoneArena reader for a long time, you know that we tell you to read the comments section before installing an app from a developer you’re not familiar with – even if the app is listed on the Play Store. This is where you will find red flags that can warn you to stay away from a particular app. For example, two comments written by a pair of unlucky Android users who have installed the Lucky Step – Walking Tracker app contain a lot of red flags.

One comment came from a user who gave the app 2 stars (!!??!!) while saying that “Mostly an ad junkie, the app is really useless… every time you unlock the phone it throws a full screen ad at you… Whenever there is an alarm going off it overrides that view and won’t let me access it [the] Alert screen unless I interact with it for the first time. It’s just a scam designed to get as much of your data as possible while repeatedly feeding ads just so they can make money from you.”

A second comment gives the app 1 star and says, “There are also a lot of annoying ads that you have to watch to get some coins. This app is a real scam and waste of time and effort.”

We just installed these apps in the Google Play Store so if you see them, do not install any of the three apps on your Android devices. Also, if you have already installed any of the three, uninstall them immediately.

Here is another malicious app that you need to avoid

Dr.Web’s report also mentioned a fitness app called FitStar that creates a custom weight loss plan for 29 rubles (equivalent to 41 US cents). However, what these subscribers didn’t know was that the program they were subscribing to was only good for one day. At the end of the trial, subscribers were automatically signed up for four days of service for an additional 980 rubles (equivalent to $13.86). Full access to the software cost 7,000 rubles ($98.98) and the app continued to automatically extend users’ subscriptions every four days.

This app is also still listed in the Google Play Store. Comments for this app say that if you install it, the icon will not appear in your phone’s list of installed apps which makes it difficult to uninstall. The same comment also states that “the app is trying from the beginning to access your Facebook or Google data…”

Don’t put your phone or wallet at risk. Stay away from all applications mentioned in this Dr.Web report.

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