Industry News

Android Con Ends in £50,000 Fine for Premium Rate Number Provider

PhonepayPlus, UK’s telephone services regulator, fined A1 Agregator Limited £50,000 for enabling the premium rate payment system that allowed perpetrators to steal from innocent smart phone users.

Google Play, former known as Android Market, was flooded with malicious applications guised as popular game brands such as Assassins Creed, Cut the Rope or Angry Birds at the end of last year. Advertised as free, these phony apps were siphoning the unwary users’ money bit by bit in the background.

Android Con Ends in £50,000 Fine for Premium Rate Number Provider

The applications could be downloaded, but never install or open properly. Instead, users would lose £15 each time they tried to open the popular “free” games.  Users would receive three empty SMS messages of £5 each without knowing why.

PhonepayPlus fined premium rate number provider A1 Agregator Limited £50,000 fine and had the company pay the approximately 1,391 UK victims the estimated £27,850 stolen from them.

“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.” Patrick Guthrie, PhonepayPlus’ Director of Strategy and Communications announced.

It is essential that user double check the permissions required by the applications they chose to download and install on their smart devices.

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About the author


A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.