Security researchers at Avast have discovered and reported three iOS VPN apps that were attempting to scam users into buying expensive subscriptions that charged them once a week.
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are apps that route internet traffic through a "tunnel," often for security and privacy purposes. Security experts have long cautioned users from downloading untrusted VPNs, however, as malicious variants can in some cases glean sensitive information without a user's knowledge.
The three apps that Avast researchers discovered were high-rated VPN apps that "overcharge users, do not provide the services they promote and appear to be 'fleeceware.'"
"Fleeceware apps fall into a gray area, because they are not malicious per se, they simply charge users absurd amounts of money for weekly, monthly or yearly subscriptions for features that should be offered at much lower costs," said Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Avast's head of Mobile Threats and Security.