Android phone and tablet users have been advised to delete 23 apps after they were reported to contain dangerous “fleeceware”.
Cybersecurity experts at Sophos claim the apps could scam users out of thousands of pounds if they are not deleted.
The apps violate Google Play Store policies by using a range of tactics to fleece unsuspecting customers out of money, reports the LiverpoolEcho.
One called “blind sub” lures in the user with promises of a free trial, but without details of how long the free trial lasts or details of any subsequent charges.
Others use at technique called “spam subscriptions”, reports the Mirror.
In a blog about the findings, researcher Jagadeesh Chandraiah explained: “The new Google-issued rules are designed to address some forms of deceptive marketing display copy, but they also have some loopholes that permit other behaviour some might consider unscrupulous.
He added: “You sign up once, and find yourself subscribed to a bunch of different apps as the fleeceware apps advertise one another.
“Users sometimes unknowingly subscribe to hundreds of dollars worth of app subscriptions by clicking buttons like these.”
The 23 dangerous apps are: