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PSA: Better stay away from apps like these that scratch you blind



You can use fleece, but no matter what you do, stay away from fleecewear. These are apps that entice you in by offering a free trial period (usually for three days), and when it’s time to cancel the trial period, the user fails to do so. It leaves the user on the hook for subscriptions that can provide up to thousands of dollars per year. According to researchers at Avast, they discovered a total of 204 fleeceware apps in both Apple App Store and Google Play Store with a total of over a billion downloads. These apps have grossed over $ 400 million. It is money that is cheated out of users’ pockets.

Don’t be put off by ridiculously priced apps that require extremely high weekly subscription fees

The apps that were discovered as fleeceware included apps for musical instruments, image editors, camera filters, mind readers, fortune tellers, QR code readers, slime simulators and palm readers. The apps mostly deliver the goods, but they do so at a price that no ordinary person would pay. In the App Store and Google Play Store, there are apps that do the same things as fleeceware, but at a much lower price or even for free. Adults are not the only ones being tricked, as Fleeceware is marketed to children who may not be looking through gimmicks and is fascinated by phrases like “free to download.” When the parents notice that they receive invoiced sums. something they do not remember having bought, enough money has changed hands for the scheme to be profitable for the malicious developers.

These apps offer nothing unique and were originally listed in the store front for iOS or Android for the express purpose of fooling consumers by offering them nothing spectacular and a really, very overpriced subscription price. Avast handed over the names of the fleeceware apps it has discovered to Google and Apple, so the couple can see through the situation.

One of the problems consumers face is that these are not considered harmful apps that give the developer the ability to market them in normal channels. Sensor Towers Ad Intelligence notes that these applications are actively advertised on popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

Keep in mind that deleting the app does not void the user’s obligation to continue paying the monthly subscription fee. The subscription itself must be canceled and things are what they are, many will end up forgetting that they have to do this, and that is exactly what the developers expect. Avast found apps that cost up to $ 66 per week or $ 3,432 over a 52-week year. Most charged $ 4 to $ 12 per week, which works to a range of $ 208- $ 624 per year.

How can you protect yourself from fleeceware? The easiest and fastest way is to do something we’ve been proposing for years when it comes to malicious apps. Read the comments and ratings posted by others. They are a red flag, especially now that a new version of fleeceware involves developers who may have sold an app to you for a one-time price, but suddenly change the app to one using a weekly subscription model. Those who refuse to accept the new terms are blocked from using the app, even though it was already paid for in full. Avast says this can start to happen more and more because of the financial rewards that developers can collect.

Google has a notification that warns users when they have an active subscription to an unwanted app, and Apple sends out a message asking the user if he / she still wants to keep the subscription. But to avoid getting stuck in these situations, you need to take a very good look at apps that offer free trial periods that last less than a week. Calculate exactly how much you pay for the app on an annual basis. Shop around to see what similar apps are going for. And talk to the whole family about fleece goods.

Despite all the warnings, you may still be caught by fleeceware. To unsubscribe from iOS, go to Settings and tap your name. Tap next on subscriptions and then on the app you want to cancel. Tap Cancel subscription to escape the weekly payment. Go to the Google Play Store on Android and make sure the correct account is open. Tap the three-line hamburger menu and tap the subscriptions. Select the one you want to cancel and follow the instructions.


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