Landmark £78k penalty after clone app scam

Landmark £78k penalty after clone app scam

By Rob Crossley

May 24th 2012 at 3:00PM

Bogus app sent 'silent' text messages that charged £5 apiece

A Latvia technology company must pay out £78,000 following a breakthrough ruling against app cloning scams.

Last year the company published fake versions of apps such as Angry Birds, Assassin's Creed and Cut The Rope on Google’s Android store.

More than 1,000 people downloaded the clone apps, who were then sent several ‘silent’ text messages that charged at about £5 apiece.

While the fake apps were deleted from the Android Marketplace, the full extent of the scam was only discovered after people checked through their phone bills.

The company that provided the fake apps must refund customers about  £28,000 in total, as well as a £50,000 on top, according to a BBC report.

Industry watchdog PhonepayPlus said malicious apps are a "growing threat".

Google does not check applications before they appear on its app store, Google Play.