The BBC reports that a Latvian company has been fined £50,000 over smartphone apps it created that tricked people into receiving premium rate text messages. What's worse is that these apps pretended to be legitimate versions of hit apps such as Angry Birds and Cut The Rope. More than 1,000 people received bills after downloading the fake versions of games. Naturally they were upset about this and complained.
The apps were on Google Play, Google's marketplace for Android-based apps. When people downloaded the fake apps they found that they didn't seem to work after install. Instead they received three SMS messages costing £5 each, but these texts were hidden so people had no idea what had happened until they received their bills.
A Latvian firm, A1 Agregator, has been ordered to pay the fine, and refund another £28,000 to mobile users by the UK's premium rate telephony regulator. The company's activities in the UK will also be monitored by regulators for the next 12 months.