Earlier this week a security researcher warned iOS users about Fleeceware apps. With that said, 3.5 million users have already installed Fleeceware apps. But what these apps are and how do they work?
What are Fleeceware apps?
The term Fleeceware is a new cybersecurity jargon, and it explains a new form of online fraud where cybercriminals are taking benefit of legal gaps in the app trial mechanism.
To be more explicit, they are designing free trial version apps that can bill the user without informing him about the expiry of the trial period. Many of them also involve in-app purchases, explaining the fact that users might have to pay more than the cost.
How does Fleeceware work?
Both the App Store and Play Store allows developers to create trial versions of an app. Once the trial version of the app expires, the apps become non-functional. However, in the case of Fleeceware, once the trial version expires, the user gets charged automatically.
App Store allows developers to create their own set of policies due to which upon installation of certain apps when the user gives permission to charge the Play Store or App Store account, the card is billed automatically.
Not only this, they even make the uninstallation and charge cancellation process complicated.
This loophole has been abused by some to make a few dollars; however, the bad actors are fleecing users and making hundreds of dollars. Therefore, it is named as Fleeceware.
Is there a way to get out of this Fleeceware trap?
We cannot be sure about that, as most apps consider uninstallation a cancellation of subscription some charge you even after that.
Mostly QRcode/barcodes readers, image editors, fortune teller/horoscope, face filter apps are Fleeceware apps.
An app on App Store by the name Zodiac Master Plus is the 11th highest revenue-generating app. Alongside is Lucky Life- Future Seer.
In addition to this, to avoid being a victim to these scams, it is recommended to read user reviews before installing the app.
How to cancel a subscription on the App Store?
To cancel a subscription open Settings > Your Name> Subscriptions > select the app > Cancel Subscription. If you cannot see it under Settings, head to iTunes & App Store > Apple ID > View Apple ID > sign in > Subscriptions cancel.
Each day we see a new threat, and still, we fail to learn from our mistakes. To stay safe from such scams avoid downloading apps by trusting the substantial advertisement you see on social media. Not all that you see is true, remember that.