Chrome Adds New Security-Related Features To Prevent Deceptive Mobile Subscriptions

Chrome will soon warn you about tricky mobile subscription signups

Google is working hard on improving the end user experience of Chrome users, and it is planning to block abusive ads on pages starting with Chrome 71.

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.

In a recent blog post published by Google Chrome, the tech giant notified that it will show up a warning page to users when it suspects that they might be unknowingly subscribed to a direct billing scam, leading them to unexpected charges on their next bill. Behind the subscription, there are some billings you'll be charged with that's sometimes not obvious.

TechCrunch announced that the new feature would become available on desktop and mobile and in Android's WebView.

Many websites with mobile subscription pages often hide payment info by showing it in the same color as the page's background, use very small lettering, or show the information off-screen.

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

Once users encounter these kinds of websites, a warning page will appear.

Google makes use of a system to detect sites that don't have hidden charges. The company will be punishing the websites that are repeat offenders as apart of Chrome browser version 71 that is due to arrive in December this year. It would be impractical for them to manually evaluate all the web pages that need to conform.

For example, below is the traditional Safe Browsing interstitial a user would see when going to a site that is distributing malware.

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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