Tech experts have warned smartphone users to delete 17 potentially dangerous apps from their devices.
Following the expenses of the holiday season, many of us are feeling the pinch.
With weeks left until payday and January only just beginning, things can start to feel a little bit desperate.
And for those struggling to see how they can make their bank balance stretch until February, the appeal of a quick and easy loan can be easy to understand.
However, smartphone users looking for a loan have been issued a stark warning by tech experts this week…
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ESET researchers have drawn attention to what they describe as: “an alarming growth of deceptive Android loan apps, which present themselves as legitimate personal loan services, promising quick and easy access to funds.”
These apps reportedly use deceptive marketing tactics to trap users into extremely high-interest loans, which can put them on a slippery slope into debt.
But what’s even more pernicious is the fact that these apps then use data collected from the user, including personal and financial details, to blackmail users into paying their enormous fees.
The apps have been given the portmanteau SpyLoan, as they utilise loan claims to gain spyware access.
“Since the beginning of 2023, researchers have observed an alarming growth of deceptive Android loan apps,” Lukas Stefanko, of the cybersecurity firm ESET, wrote in a post.
ESET has since alerted Google to 18 of these SpyLoan apps in its Play Store, encouraging the company to remove them.
One has since been removed from the list, as it is no longer deemed a Spyloan app.
Worryingly, these fraudulent apps had garnered over 12 million downloads before their eventual removal from the store.
So, if you have an Android, it’s well worth checking you don’t have any of these nefarious apps on your device!
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The apps named by We Live Security are as follows:
- AA Kredit
- Amor Cash
- Préstamos De Crédito-YumiCash
- Go Crédito
- Instantáneo Préstamo
- Cartera grande
- Rápido Crédito
- Finupp Lending
- 4S Cash
If you do have any of these apps installed, experts encourage that you delete them from your device immediately.
News.com.au also encourages ‘changing passwords for their device, financial accounts, and Wi-Fi’.
“They should also be on the lookout for symptoms of a potential malware infection, including suspicious emails or alerts,” the outlet says.
“In the meantime, smartphone users should install antivirus software, keep up with phone updates, refrain from downloading apps from third-party sources, and take other protective measures against the risk of contracting malware.”