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Avast_Security_News: iOS and Android scam apps spreading via TikTok
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Rogue TikTok accounts are promoting [Only registered and activated users can see links Click here to register] [Only registered and activated users can see links Click here to register] apps posing as “Shock Roulette” and “Wallpaper” apps

When a 12-year-old girl in the Czech Republic suspected that something was off with a popular app that was circulating on TikTok, she knew what to do — report it to Avast. The Avast team followed up and found a total of seven [Only registered and activated users can see links Click here to register] that were available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The apps have been downloaded more than 2.4 million times and are reported to have earned their creators around $500,000.

The Avast team found at least three profiles that are aggressively pushing the apps on TikTok, one of which has more than 300K followers. They also found an Instagram profile with more than 5,000 followers promoting one of the apps. Avast has reported the apps to Apple and Google and the accounts to TikTok and Instagram. 

The young person who reported the original scam app participated in Avast’s[Only registered and activated users can see links Click here to register] project, which goes into Czech middle schools and teaches young people about online safety and how to advocate for themselves. Using the skills she learned in the program, the young lady was able to identify and report the scam directly to Avast.
 

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“This is a great example of this kind of education working,” Whitney Glockner Black, Communications Director at Avast, says. “Teach kids how to spot the bad things and they’ll spot them and report them.”

The apps are specifically targeted to young people, in the form of games, wallpaper, and music downloaders. The scams come in the form of either charging $2 to $10 for a service that doesn’t meet that price point — including causing the phone to vibrate, a wallpaper, or access to music — or in the form of aggressive ads. Some are[Only registered and activated users can see links Click here to register], which are apps that appear to be legitimate, but actually only exist to serve up advertisements outside of the app. HiddenAd [Only registered and activated users can see links Click here to register] also have a built in hide-app timer, making it difficult to determine where the advertisements are coming from.
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