Hundreds of fraudulent trading apps pulled from Google Play, Apple App Store

Google play
Ymgerman/123RF
The App Store and Google Play Store both just got a little safer thanks to an investigation conducted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) that exposed hundreds of unlicensed trading apps and resulted in them being removed from the online app stores. The probe found many of the apps were scamming people out of their money.

According to a report by ASIC, the investigation specifically focused on so-called binary options trading, which basically encourages investors to bet on whether a share will rise or fall over a certain period of time. There are some licensed and legitimate binary trading platform, but there were also 330 non-licensed ones on the App Store and Google Play Store.

The investigation didn’t just result in many apps being pulled — Apple even went so far as to change its developer guidelines, and directly banned binary trading apps from the App Store, the report said. Binary trading apps were pulled around the world — not just in Australia.

Many of the apps had somewhat grand claims as to how much money users could make. One app, for example, claimed that users could make “up to 90 percent in less than an hour,” while another said users could make “around 85 percent profitable signals from the top traders to guarantee the safe trading.”

Though Apple and Google reacted quickly to the scams by removing the apps, it’s unlikely that many of the victims will ever get their money back because the majority of the companies behind the apps are located in countries that put them out of reach of regulators in the U.S., Australia, or the U.K.

“We were encouraged with the speed both entities removed the relevant apps identified by ASIC from their respective app stores. We also note that Apple recently changed its review guidelines to state that apps that facilitate binary options trading will not be permitted in its app store,” ASIC said in its report.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Apple pull apps from the App Store in recent weeks. Just last week, the company removed a host of VPN apps from the Chinese App Store in an attempt to comply with local cyber laws. It’s expected that similar moves will happen in Russia on or before November 1, when stricter cybersecurity laws are set to go into effect.

Mobile

Most Android antivirus apps fail to provide malware protection, study shows

A study by AV-Comparatives analyzed the effectiveness of Android antivirus apps in protecting against the 2,000 most common malware threats. Alarmingly, only 23 of the apps were able to detect 100 percent of the malware samples.
Mobile

These voice-changing apps will have you punking friends and family like a pro

Have you ever wanted to call your friends as Darth Vader or Alvin from the Chipmunks? If you want to play a prank on your friends, we have the best voice-changer apps for iOS and Android, whether you want to record audio or make a call.
Mobile

Saving for a vacation? Here are the best apps to help you manage your wealth

Looking to start managing your money, but don't care for intricate software or spreadsheets? Lucky for you, we made a list of the best budgeting apps designed to help you rein in your expenditures.
Computing

These 28 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Mobile

Sony's Xperia 10 smartphone boasts a 6-inch screen and is now available

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Mobile

FCC to help first responders pinpoint 911 callers in multistory buildings

When someone calls 911 from their cell phone, wireless carriers provide operators with an approximate location. Now the FCC wants the carriers to provide vertical location data to pinpoint 911 callers inside multi-story buildings.
Mobile

Latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone will pop up on April 10

Samsung will show at least one new Galaxy phone off on April 10, it has confirmed in a teaser tweet. The Galaxy A90 may make its first appearance, and it's rumored to have a pop-up camera and a notch-less screen.
Mobile

Leaked ZTE concept phones are crazy, possibly fake, and totally worth seeing

Renders of what may be ZTE concept phones may show how the manufacturer could avoid using the notch on future devices. They're crazy -- and maybe not even real -- but they're definitely worth looking at.
Mobile

The iPad Mini, Apple’s tiny tablet, makes a return with powerful specs

Apple has finally revealed the iPad Mini. With all-new and upgraded specs, support for the Apple Pencil, and a fantastically inclusive price, here's everything you need to know about the iPad Mini.
Mobile

The Apple iPad Air is the power-packed tablet for everyone

The iPad Air is the less serious cousin to Apple's iPad Pro range, and it's the perfect addition to your coffee table. But it's no less powerful. Here's everything you need to know about the iPad Air.
Mobile

Get excited for your Sony Xperia 10 or 10 Plus by getting it set up just right

If you've picked up one of the Sony's more affordable smartphones, you may be be wondering what hidden depths lie within. We've got some handy Sony Xperia 10 tips for you here to help you get to grips with your new phone.
Deals

This is the one thing you need to do before giving your child a smart phone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage Read on to find out how you can protect your child from online…
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

Apple’s new iPads are hardly new at all. Don’t waste your money

It has taken Apple four years to get around to updating the iPad Mini line, but the new iPad Mini is virtually identical to its predecessor. It’s joined by a confusing iPad Air with no obvious target audience. Is Apple just trying to sell…