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Smartphone users warned to delete these 17 dangerous apps

Smartphone users warned to delete these 17 dangerous apps

Smartphone users will want to check if any of these finance apps are downloaded.

Perhaps your New Year's resolution was to finally get on top of your money.

It's definitely an admirable thing (although you run the risk of being horrified at how many direct debits are coming out of your account).

If this sounds like you, maybe you decided to use a finance app to help you track your spending or get a loan.

That's all very well and good - and some are a total lifesaver - but experts are warning that some popular apps are actually infected with malware.

Smartphone users will want to watch out for these apps.
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They're known as 'digital Trojan horses' - by essentially tricking you to input all your data, and then using that to nab your money. Pretty chilling stuff.

Malware researcher Lukas Stefanko from cybersecurity company ESET wrote about the phenomenon in a blog post.

"Since the beginning of 2023, ESET researchers have observed an alarming growth of deceptive Android loan apps, which present themselves as legitimate personal loan services, promising quick and easy access to funds," he wrote.

"Despite their attractive appearance, these services are in fact designed to defraud users by offering them high-interest-rate loans endorsed with deceitful descriptions, all while collecting their victims’ personal and financial information to blackmail them, and in the end gain their funds."

ESET has dubbed these insidious programs 'SpyLoan' apps.

These third-party apps crop up on the Play Store, according to ESET - who alerted Google to 18 such apps.

ESET said 17 of these apps were removed, with the final one no longer considered a SpyLoan app as its permissions and functionality was changed.

Potential hackers can steal your data through these Trojan horse apps.
sarayut Thaneerat / Getty

"Before their removal, these apps had a total of more than 12 million downloads from Google Play," Stefanko wrote.

While it's great they're no longer available to download, you might want to check that they aren't already on your phone - if they are, you'll want to immediately delete them and also perhaps change your passwords for extra security.

Forbes reports these as the apps in question:

  1. AA Kredit
  2. Amor Cash
  3. GuayabaCash
  4. EasyCredit
  5. Cashwow
  6. CrediBus
  7. FlashLoan
  8. PréstamosCrédito
  9. Préstamos De Crédito-YumiCash
  10. Go Crédito
  11. Instantáneo Préstamo
  12. Cartera grande
  13. Rápido Crédito
  14. Finupp Lending
  15. 4S Cash
  16. TrueNaira
  17. EasyCash

According to the ESET blog post, the apps mainly operate in Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Colombia, Peru, the Philippines, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and Singapore. It added: "We haven’t seen an active campaign targeting European countries, the USA, or Canada."

Regardless, it's always smart to be as secure as possible with your device - making sure you have antivirus software downloaded and you've always got the latest phone update.

Featured Image Credit: Tim Robberts/Sturti/Getty Images