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Posted On January 27, 2022 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches

Console & Associates’ Attorneys Investigating Dark-Herring Scamware Class Action Lawsuit

Scamware AlertDark-Herring is a sophisticated scam that uses direct carrier billing to charge consumers a monthly fee without their permission.  This scam may have cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.

According to a recent news report, a new type of scamware, called “Dark-Herring,” may have scammed upwards of 105 million victims globally.

Users who fell victim to the scam may be eligible for financial compensation. The law firm of Console & Associates, P.C., is actively investigating the Dark Herring scamware incident to determine all potentially liable parties. If evidence emerges that certain app stores or technology companies were negligent and allowed the scam to operate—even unknowingly—there may be the potential for a large-scale class action lawsuit.

Our class action lawsuit attorneys are currently interviewing victims of the scam and investigating what compensation may be available.

What Is Dark Herring Scamware?

Scamware is a type of malware, or malicious software, that manipulates users into buying unwanted software. The most common example of scamware is those pop-up ads explaining that your computer has been infected with a virus and that you need to click a link to purchase software to fix the problem.

Dark Herring is a very sophisticated scam that tricks users into signing up for automatic monthly bills. Here is it works: The orchestrators of the scam set up malicious web pages that review a user’s geographic location. Once a user’s location is determined, the website routes them to another local webpage that is in their language. The idea is that users are more comfortable agreeing to information requests from websites in their own language.

” . . . what users don’t know is that they are not actually confirming their identity, instead they are signing up for direct carrier billing..”
Once the user is rerouted to the targeted webpage, the page then asks the user to confirm their identity by providing their cell phone number. However, what users don’t know is that they are not actually confirming their identity, instead they are signing up for direct carrier billing. The average monthly charge is $15 per month; however, because users do not realize they signed up for any service, most users go several months without noticing the unauthorized charges.  And because the application stays on a user’s mobile phone, the billing can continue into perpetuity.

According to a recent report, the creators of the Dark Herring scam first began bilking users in March 2020, and the most recent instance of the scam appears to be in November 2021. Over this period, the report alleges that there were over 470 malicious applications available through the Google Play store and other third-party app stores. The report estimates that the number of users whose phones may be infected with Dark Herring is approximately 105 million.

Can Users Who Suffered Financial Losses Pursue a Legal Claim?

Certainly, scamware such as Dark Herring is illegal, and those who are responsible for the scamware can be held financially accountable for the losses suffered by users. However, given the difficulty in tracking the creators of these scams down, the best hope for users to recover compensation may be through other potentially responsible parties.

To be clear, there is no indication that any app store or other technology company played a role in Dark Herring. However, Console & Associates, P.C. is actively investigating all possibly liable parties to better determine the legal rights of those impacted by this scamware. For example, large-scale technology companies do not necessarily need to have played an active or knowing role in facilitating a scam in order to be held liable. Under the U.S. consumer privacy laws, companies can be held liable for failing to adequately protect consumers from cyber threats.

The law firm of Console & Associates P.C. is committed to protecting consumers’ privacy interests from the ever-present threat of cyberattacks. The firm investigates all types of data breaches, scamware schemes, ransomware attacks and other network intrusions to determine the legal rights of consumers who trusted corporations with their personal data.