Android Market Scam

Android Central reader @mjroberts22 this morning alerted us to an evil developer in the Android Market. A number of apps from Quarter MiLL look legit. We've featured Super Why Adventures -- a children's app -- on the site before. But look closely. In the app description, and after paying your $1.99 here, you'll note that it says to download the Amazon version of the app if this one isn't working properly.

That, obviously, should be a big red flag for everyone. In other words, DO NOT BUY THESE APPS.

But if you spot an evil developer, what to do about it? If you're using the Android Market from your phone, it's easy -- just scroll down to the bottom of the app and report it. If you're browing from your desktop, there's a handy link for reporting "inappropriate" apps (including scammers and spammers). We've got the link below. Just out the forum, and Google will do its thing.

More: Report a suspicious Android app to Google

Thanks to @mjroberts22 and @U_Mainah for the tips!


Reader comments

How to report Android Market scammers and spammers from your browser


Wow the 3 for 5 app is definitely a scam. Lol look at the app icons in the screen shot most of them are free or are the free version of paid apps. Luckily it has zero downloads.

I downloaded the free one from Amazon but it says the app is from PBS? The weird thing is that on the Android market version from this guy it recognizes that I have the app installed.....what gives? . Should uninstall the app from Amazon?

The app from Amazon is safe. Maybe someone smarter than me could explain this but I think they some how link these illegitimate apps to legit ones in the Amazon Appstore. So you pay for an fake app, then told to download it from Amazon.

It's a scam. Pure and simple. "Our app that you shouldn't have bought in the first place doesn't work? No worries. We've got a fix. Download the real one, then ours will magically work. Only, not really."


Most-likely, the "dev" (read: scammer) downloaded it with a rooted device, pulled the .apk file from their phone and uploaded it to the Android Market under their own account. It could be that it doesn't work because it may not be signed properly (after a few mods by the scammer) or they just stripped out a bit of functionality. The reason that it's recognized by the Android Market as installed on your device is probably due to the "package name" being the same for both apps (from Amazon and Android Market)

I've done something similar where I had a open source app (TerminalIDE) installed on my Xoom via the Android Market. I download the source code from the Google Code repo, compile and try to sideload onto my Xoom. It won't let me because it already sees the original package (provided by Android Market) on my Xoom. I adjust the code a bit so that it's my own package name (not referring to the .apk name, but the "class package" e.g. and it will then let me sideload and essentially run the same app with no real functional difference.

It's probably worth mentioning to Google while reporting the Super Why app or the PBA Bowling app that there is no mention of that the app licenses the content.

Mentioning both the issues in the description AND the that they make no mention of licensing the brand, characters, likenesses, etc. might speed Google up on removing this crap.

Thanks AC for pointing this out!

Hey Phil, not to get too nit-picky about typos, but:
"If you're browing from your desktop..."
should be
"If you're browsing from your desktop..."

This guy is SOOOO Sketchy.

Check out his youtube page -

None of his apps look legit to me. We should not be supporting this guy.

Pay to move your apps to SD card? Android does that! Also, his whole pay for my fake app and then I'll link you to the free real one is totally not cool.

Google needs to yank his account.

A couple of weeks ago I report a scam app that imitated plants vs zombies(the fake developer even called himself E.A. Games)the tip for me was it was cheaper than the official version and was said to be compatible with my tablet while the original version isn't) , got no response from Google but its disappeared from the android market.

More typos:

"We've got the link below. Just out the forum, and Google will do its thing."

I think that's supposed to be "...Just fill out the form..."

It takes chutzpah to rebadge another developers app as your own... still more to sell someone else's free app.... but selling a non-working app purporting to be someone else's free app AND directing the user to go and download the real free app? This guy's got some serious cojones.

And I hope they get cut off.

What about indirect scams? Based on that webform, the increasingly EVIL google could not care less about finding out which app is the real source of the scam. This one involves something called BeenVerified. There is enough valid information in their repeated spam (beyond my name and email address) to convince me that they are getting information from some registered Android app, but I don't know which one. The app developer in question is obviously a criminal, probably working an identity theft scam, but I don't know which app it might be, and the google obviously could not care less. He is obviously a spamming scammer in disguise, but it would take more of an investigation than I can mount to find him.

Makes me laugh that I once thought the google was going to help make the world a better place. The new motto is "All your attentions is belong to the google."

I guess we're supposed to hope that the scammer will eventually get nailed through his victims? After he has stolen enough identifies, maybe he'll make an error and the cops will finally force the google to help?