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Beware of deceptive in-app advertising


I really like the new app by OMGPOP called Draw Something. I play this game with my friends possibly a little too much. Draw Something has attracted more than 50 million downloads, and was just acquired by Zynga for $200 million dollars. It was surprising the other day when I noticed an advertisement at the bottom of the screen for a battery optimizer app. In fact it even told me two upgrades were available!

I would like to take this moment to reiterate that your mobile browser can’t scan your phone’s battery. I would also like to mention that if there was such a thing as a battery upgrade through software, every carrier would likely try to provide this, or at least sell it to you.

I followed the advertising link, knowing that this is too good to be true. It’s interesting how they chose a style and font similar to Facebook here:

I was then taken through a survey about my phone

These were all obvious questions.

Finally on the last page we’re told to “verify” our handset. What does this verification do? Well it doesn’t verify anything about your battery.

Following the directions on this page signs you up for a text alert service that charges $9.99 a month!

It will even offer to dial for you!

Wait, where is my battery upgrade? It’s never mentioned again. This is a simple bait and switch scam.

Please be very careful of the advertisements you follow within your favorite apps. I enjoy many of these apps as well, and I like to see the developers making money for their creations. However, this type of advertising will only give people a bad feeling about your app.

If you would like to support an app developer, consider buying the paid version, if it’s available. If many of these advertisements seem too good to be true, that’s because they often are. Use your best judgment to avoid being ripped off.

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