Parents have been warned to check their children’s internet use after a cybersecurity company fund several scam apps have been promoted to kids on social media.
The malicious apps are known as “HiddenAds trojans” and pose as games, wallpaper apps and music downloaders.
Once downloaded, they display ads or charge a user between $2 and $13.
The apps were discovered after a child in the Czech Republic reported to Avast security a TikTok profile promoting a strange app.
“It is particularly concerning that the apps are being promoted on social media platforms popular among younger kids, who may not recognise some of the red flags surrounding the apps and therefore may fall for them,” said Avast threat analyst Jakub Vávra.
Upon reviewing the data, Avast found seven adware scam apps on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
several are using TikTok and Instagram to push their apps.
One of the fake profiles has more than 300,000 followers.
“Altogether, the apps have been downloaded more than 2.4 million times and have earned the people or persons behind the scam more than $US500,000 (AUD700,000),” Vávra said.