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Google releases new Chrome features to block carrier fee fraud

posted by chrismcdonald on Nov 11, 2018
tags: google chrome google smart lock

Google announced today that Chrome will soon receive a new feature to block carrier-based subscription fraud. In such a scam, a malicious website would ask for the user's phone number, then register the subscription service without the user's knowledge, and withholding fees through the operator. Starting with the Chrome 71 release in December, Chrome will pop up a warning when the site doesn't explicitly tell users that it will make a paid order.

In order to protect developers who provide paid subscription services in a proper manner from this new system, Google today also released a set of best practices for carrier billing. In general, developers are expected to visually display billing information to users, display actual costs, and provide a simple fee structure.

If this information is not provided, then Google will pop up a prominent page warning, and the user can choose whether to continue. Google will notify the webmaster in the search console before detecting possible fraudulent activity and popping up a warning page. (After all, there is always the possibility of a false positive.)

This new feature will be released to the mobile and desktop Chrome browsers, as well as the WebView in the Android system.

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