Fake antivirus app pulled from Play Store, Google issues refund and an apology

April 22, 2014
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In a bit of a surprise move by Google, users that were fooled by a fake antivirus app in the Google Play Store are not only getting their money back, but Google is giving them an additional $5 credit to play with. The app was called Virus Shield and sold for $3.99 to about 10,000 users before it was pulled from the Play Store.

Virus Shield managed to sneak its way past all the checks and make it to the top of a couple Play Store ‘Top’ categories. Android Police caught on and had much to say about it, and the app was removed from the Play Store on April 6th.

The fake antivirus app claimed to prevent harmful apps from being installed on your device, scan apps, settings and more in real time and protect your personal information. However, as it turns out, Virus Shield performed one role for users – click the emblem and the image changes. That is it. In fact, we shall re-create its entire functionality for you in non-clickable .gif format below, for free.

Fake Antivirus App Virus Shield

Within an email that is firing out to those that purchased the app, Google states that Virus Shield violates Play Store policy by making false claims, which is why they are issuing refunds of the purchase amount. Hopefully Google will not be stuck footing any of this bill, that they can still simply withhold funds, or straight out charge the developer, Deviant Solutions for the refunds. Checkout the full email here.

As for that $5 Play Store credit, Google is certainly making amends to users for allowing such an app to go unchecked for so long within the Play Store. We applaud Google’s actions and how they have taken ownership of righting any wrongs. We know that Google has tools in place to weed out bad apps, like Virus Shield, from the Play Store. We only hope that Google will incorporate all they have learned from this situation to help prevent similar from happening again.

What do you think, in addition to the well deserved returned purchase price, should Google be issuing the additional $5 Play Store credit to those that purchased Virus Shield? Or should Google take more of a ‘buyer beware’ approach to Play Store purchases?

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