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Chrome will start warning users about shady mobile subscription pages

10 November 2018

While Android security is generally much tighter than it is on Windows, despite both platforms being quite prevalent, that doesn't stop sketchy mobile developers from trying new and interesting ways to fraudulently separate you from your hard-earned money.

Before Google throws the warning page, the tech giant will notify webmasters in the Search Console when it finds a potential scam. Site owners will have 30 days to fix experiences flagged by the Report before Chrome removes ads.

While researching the recent deceptive mobile billing interstitial coming to Chrome 71, I stumbled onto the internal chrome://interstitials page that allows you to view all warnings that are supported by the particular Chrome version you are using.

Visitors will be offered the choice to proceed anyway after seeing the above warning or go back to the previous page.

An example of a mobile subscription scam.

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Google estimates that millions of people monthly come across pages with insufficient mobile subscription information and accidentally sign up for services and plans.

What is An Unclear Subscription Page?

For example, a gaming website that asks users for their phone details, and the next month's phone bill arrives with subscription charges to the online gaming service that they didn't really subscribe to. Ensure that the information is visible on all types of devices. Chrome 71 is set to be launched in the month of December 2018.

The warning will also be shown if the site administrator does not clearly explains the fee structure of the service. When Google introduced in-app charges to Google Play in 2011, it started billing customers without password requirements or other methods to obtain account holder authorization, the FTC said.

If Google identifies subscription pages on a site that do not follow the above best practices then a notification will be sent in Search Console.

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Chrome will start warning users about shady mobile subscription pages