Google Alert: Google has banned 150 apps and removed them from its PlayStore. These 150 dangerous SMS scam apps on the Play Store were part of a major fraud called UltimaSMS, Hindustan Times reported. This scam consisted of deceiving people of huge amounts by tricking them into the premium SMS service without their knowledge. These bogus apps have been downloaded over 10.5 million times.
What is this UltimaSMS scam?
The scammers cleverly implicated people in a premium SMS scam called “Ultima SMS” (UltimaSMS). It started in May 2021. The thugs had implicated people by installing keyboards, QR code scanners, video and image editors, unwanted call blockers, camera filters, and some gaming apps. These bogus apps have been downloaded in large numbers by people in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, United States, Poland, and many countries in the Middle East.
This is how people were deceived
These bogus apps first took information about users’ phone numbers and emails under the guise of using features. Users were then forced to pay for a premium SMS service based on their location and mobile operator. The amount was over Rs. 3000 per month.
Protect yourself from dangerous SMS applications
- Deactivate the premium SMS option of your operator.
- Make sure to read the reviews before downloading such an app. Reading as many reviews as you can find can help you find out the intent of the app.
- Do not register your mobile number in the app until you trust the app.
- Carefully read every notification that appears while installing the app and only grant permission after reading it.