Scam on Android, users pay 20 euros for app that doesn’t exist

A malicious application convinces Android users, through social engineering techniques, to pay to update Flash Player on their smartphones

The information security of Android devices is endangered by a new threat. It is a virus that tricks users into paying around 20 euros for a mobile version of Adobe Flash Player. Of course, it is just a scam and the money will be spent in vain.

The threat was discovered by the cybersecurity solutions company ESET. The scam is based on social engineering and is not a real hacker attack that is complicated to carry out. Cyber criminals trick users into installing a new version of Flash Player at a "discounted" price of 18 euros. A small detail: Flash Player on mobile devices is now largely obsolete, so much so that the company's official support for Android ceased back in 2012. So let's see how this scam works and how to avoid it. We also recommend that you never pay for any version of any software unless it comes from the developer's official website.

How it works

Once you have downloaded the app, a fake tutorial will open explaining how to complete the installation of Flash Player on your device. At some point you will be redirected to a PayPal page where you have to enter your card details and accept the 20 euro payment expected for the upgrade. The scam is well made in its graphics and everything recalls the logos and details of real companies. Which obviously have nothing to do with this virus. Once the user has paid the agreed amount, a link will appear inviting him to download a browser of his choice between Firefox or Dolphin. Two platforms that support flash content by default and are available for free on the Play Store without having to pay any money. In short, it's just one big scam. Google has recently taken down the malicious app, but according to ESET it has been downloaded between 100 and 500 thousand times. A number that has earned cyber criminals a good amount of money.