Forty million to be exact.
Known as SnapTube, the app presents itself as an easy way to download videos from YouTube and Facebook – and has been downloaded over 40 million times, reports Express.co.uk.
SnapTube is free to download, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cost you in the long run.
A new report from UpStreamSystems found that SnapTube silently registers users for premium services without their knowledge.
This practice is known as “fleeceware”, that is, when developers abuse the ability for apps to start charging users subscription fees after trying to test the service.
Google allows third-party developers to debit the credit or debit card registered with your Google Account to allow some of the most popular services – like Netflix, for example – to work seamlessly for owners of Android smartphones and tablets.
Users of Android apps can usually manually cancel the trial period to avoid being charged for the full subscription.
However, many users simply uninstall an app when they are not interested – or want to avoid paying for a recurring subscription.
Some may have even forgotten that they signed up for a trial subscription before removing the app from their Android device.
If you installed SnapTube to quickly download a YouTube or Facebook video, then deleted the app and forgot about it – you may have unknowingly subscribed to a premium service from the developer.
Estimates suggest that SnapTube has already released some $ 100 million (£ 78 million) from its suspected fraudulent activities.
Faced with this practice, the developer behind SnapTube, Mobiuspace, says that he was not aware of the problem.
How to remove SnapTube from my Android device?
Google has removed SnapTube from the Play Store, which means that users can no longer download it, but it does not remove the app from those who have already downloaded it on their device.
If you have previously downloaded SnapTube and noticed unusual charges from your current account, you should launch the Google Play Store app on your handset and press the menu button in the upper left corner of your screen.
Then head over to the subscriptions and find everything that is associated with SnapTube (or that you don’t recognize) and select it.
Tap “cancel subscription” and follow the on-screen instructions.