China’s Internet watchdog, China Cyberspace Administration (CAC), has moved to shut down thousands of malicious apps that have been found to impersonate major brands and government agencies and defraud users.
“Since the beginning of this year, CAC’s Anti-Fraud Center has investigated and suppressed 42,000 fake applications,” the organization said in its announcement.
This brings the total number of blocked applications to 514 thousand, while the number of blocked sites now exceeds 3.8 million, record reports.
In most cases, scammers impersonated the names of major brands, such as JD. Sometimes the apps lure victims to buy products at a cheaper price than what is available elsewhere, and sometimes they may advertise amazing investment opportunities. In other cases, they simply infect victims with malware (Opens in a new tab).
Each time, it will end the same way: with the victims losing their money. CAC says individuals lost between $1,500 and $60,000 as a result of these schemes.
Users are advised to download apps only to their endpoints (Opens in a new tab) From official sources, and to verify all identities before sending their money, or trying to buy anything.
according to record In the report, the Chinese government has zero tolerance for crime and corruption, but this has not stopped fraudsters from engaging in illegal activities. Of all the different types of scams, those done over the phone and email are the most prevalent.
In 2019, for example, it was discovered that the popular Chinese Android app VidMate was secretly hijacking people’s smartphones to use additional data, incur unwanted fees, and collect personal information. The app has been downloaded more than 500 million times.
The in-app daemon served invisible ads, generated fake clicks and purchases, installed suspicious apps without consent and collected user data. On top of that, it has exhausted users’ data allowance, resulting in unwanted additional fees.
Across: record (Opens in a new tab)