Chargeware is a kind of malicious software meant to mimic a legitimate service or software with the intention of tricking users into downloading and installing them. The chargeware then goes on to charge users for unauthorised services, and can even make purchases using data from your online banking. 

Chargeware often runs unnoticed in the system’s background, making hidden transactions including SMS texts to premium recipients. This can lead to massive financial losses for the unwitting victim. Chargeware can act as an info extractor and collect sensitive data for further attacks. 

Examples of Chargeware

Chargeware can be in the most unusual of applications. As such, it is important to take better care to guard against chargeware, like cultivating safe online habits. To effectively do this, we have listed a few examples of Chargeware you can look out for, they are listed below:

  • Unauthorised in-app purchases: Chargeware can stay hidden in free games or applications and will cause the user to incur unusual charges for premium features without their consent. 
  • Premium SMS scams: Chargeware, once installed into one’s device, can start sending high-rate SMS to multiple phone numbers, racking up massive phone bills. 
  • Misleading subscription services: Here, the chargeware tricks users into accepting expensive subscriptions. These subscriptions offer false prizes or gifts but in reality, are just set up to drain money in a loop.
  • Rogue security software: This kind of Chargeware pretends to be legitimate anti-malware software while allowing all sorts of malware to infect your system. It can also drum up a false list of threats and charge a fee for their removal.