About a week back we reported about a popular application on the Google Play Store which was actually a scam. Called “Virus Shield,” it cruised to the top of the Play Store lists in under a fortnight. It claimed to protect users’ personal information from “harmful viruses, malware and spyware.” It even claimed to “improve the speed of your phone” and touted ad-blocking capabilities. The app cost $3.99 and did nothing more than changing a red “X” to a red “check” graphic.
When word about this fake application spread Google quickly removed it from the Play Store. It has now issued refunds to all those Android users who were tricked into purchasing Virus Shield. Customers should expect to see the funds returned to their account within the next 14 days.
Seems like Google really wants to make amends for letting this app through. It is even offering $5 worth of promotional credit which can be used to purchase any kind of digital content from the Play Store, including but not limited to movies, music, books and applications.
Developers gaming the system is nothing new. Purchased reviews and downloads can push any application to the top of the lists, thus tricking legitimate Android users into buying an app that is actually useless. Good on Google for trying to make amends.