While many are still ruffling their feathers over the sudden death of Flappy Bird by the hands of founder Dong Nguyen, the void of our mobile game addiction has since quickly been filled by knock off flappy games. If you have an Android phone though, you’ll want to be extra careful of where you are trying to get your flappy fix- that Flappy Bird fake could be a virus.
These fake Flappy Birds might look and play like the real thing, they actually copy everything from the real game, but when your next phone bill comes, you could find some ridiculous charges. Some of the fake games will tell you that you have to pay to play the full game, but others are actually malware and if you aren’t careful and miss it, it could take over your text messaging and sends texts to numbers that charge you, also known as premium numbers. Not cool.
In an article today on Mashable, here’s what a couple of online security blogs had to say. Trendlabs reported that, “All of the fake versions we’ve seen so far are premium service abusers — apps that send messages to premium numbers, thus causing unwanted charges to victims’ phone-billing statements.” Naked Security also reported that other fakes try to trick users into messaging premium numbers by saying their “free trial has expired,” asking them to activate the full version by texting.
So be careful of where you get your mobile game fix. Android protects you from third-party downloads by default, just make sure it’s enabled. You can also make sure your phone has anti-virus software for extra protection (we didn’t even know that existed).