A developer of modified versions of games such as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope is said to have made up to £50,000 as part of a scam incorporating in-game billing. The modified apps included additional coding which triggered the sending of SMS messages to a premium rate number. The system sent messages, costing £5 a piece, until the apps were uninstalled. To make matters worse, the apps covered their tracks and concealed the fact that they were sending and receiving the high cost messages.
Phonepayplus, a part of telecoms regulator Ofcom, said that it had received over 30 complaints from users who had downloaded replicas of these popular games. The developer at the heart of the scam has been told to refund customers, even if they have not asked for a refund, and has been fined £50,000. The developer must also inform the regulator if it plans to release anything in the future. Once again, this goes to show that users need to be careful what they are downloading and ensure that they download via official channels.