Fake Angry Birds developer fined 50,000

Scammed gamers with premium SMS messages.

A developer who created fake versions of Angry Birds, Assassin's Creed and Cut The Rope mobile games has been fined 50,000.

The scam apps sneakily sent three premium SMS messages to users. Each message cost 5. Customers claimed they weren't aware of the ruse until receiving their monthly phone bills.

The apps were launched on Google's Android Market (now Google Play) last November by a Latvian firm, which must must now refund 28,000 to affected mobile users.

"I downloaded every app that I could see on the Android market which had good reviews or if I recognised the name," Android phone user John Gladstone told BBC News, explaining how he fell victim to the fraud.

"I'm always quite careful with my phone," he continued. "I never use it for internet banking, but I didn't count on the fact that there's another way people can get your money."

The apps have since been removed from Google Play.

NASA plays Angry Birds Space.

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