PhoneplayPlus Shuts Down RuFraud Apps

UK premium rate regulator PhonepayPlus has cut off a malware attack, which saw users charged £15 every time they tried to open an fradulent Android app. Apps imitating popular brands including Angry Birds, Assassins Creed and Cut the Rope, were advertised as free but contained malware which typically sent out three premium rate text messages and suppressed sent and received messages to notify users theyd been charged.

Dubbed RuFraud, the malware attack took £27,850 in the UK before the shortcode was suspended. No money reached the premium rate payment system provider responsible for the charges, A1 Aggregator, and the company has been fined £50,000.

“We will continue to clamp down on those who wish to take advantage of UK smartphone customers,” says Patrick Guthrie, PhonepayPlus’ director of strategy and communications. “We are very pleased that the tribunal ordered that everyone affected will get their money back and that a strong fine was imposed. The digital economy is vital to the UK’s future and we will continue to take action to maintain the confidence of the public.”