Certain TikTok Accounts are Promoting Scam Apps, Research Shows

Sourced from Cosmico

A number of TikTok accounts have been promoting adware scam apps, according to Avast. The security firm recently conducted an investigation into the popular video-sharing platform after a user grew suspicious.

Avast claims to have found a total of seven “adware scam apps that were available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store”. These apps have since been downloaded over 2.4 million times, generating roughly $500,000 for the creators.

The security firm also discovered three accounts that are ‘aggressively’ pushing the apps on TikTok, one of which has more than 300K followers, while on Instagram a profile with more than 5,000 followers has been promoting one of the apps.

“The apps we discovered are scams and violate both Google’s and Apple’s app policies by either making misleading claims around app functionalities or serving ads outside of the app and hiding the original app icon soon after the app is installed,” says Jakub Vávra, Avast threat analyst.

“It is particularly concerning that the apps are being promoted on social media platforms popular among younger kids, who may not recognize some of the red flags surrounding the apps and therefore may fall for them.”

Avast believes that these apps are specifically targeting young people, through 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.”
Edited by Jenna Delport
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