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I did accidentially press YES to "[appname] wants to send a message to [premium-rate-number]. Do you want to allow this? [Coin Icon] This will incur additional fees. [Checkbox] Remember my selection. [Button: Cancel] [Button: Send]"

Now it has sent a unknown message to a premium rate number, subscribing me to a expensive service. The app did send a "START [servicename]" to this premium rate number.

Now its pulling Money from the bill every week. Uninstalling the app dont help. To stop, I need to send "STOP [servicename]" to the premium rate number.

The problem? I dont know what the [servicename] is. Sending "STOP" is not enough, then it ask that I need to enter a correct service shortword. My operator wont help either, they say "If its hidden from view, you have to Contact the app maker. We wont reveal what shouldn't be for your Eyes". And app maker says I did agree to a lifetime contract with weekly fee, so no recourse there.

Is it any way to log or detect messages sent from a specific app? I did try to install different "SMS Text Tracker app" primarly used for secret spying, but those do only reveal what I send myself through the standard SMS interface.

In other Words, I want to install some logger app or log outgoing messages (even messaging attempts, since sending a additional "START [servicename]" is going to fail). Then I reinstall the culprit app, and then I can find out what it send as [servicename], so I can send "STOP [servicename]" to the number and stop the automatic billing.

Any ideas how to log "hidden" outgoing SMSes sent by app?

And Before anyone mentions it: Decompiling the app wont help. Its obfuscated AND the app does Contact a https server somewhere to get the "servicename".

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    How could the app maker say that you agreed to a "lifetime contract"? There has to be a law against that. I'm pretty sure you can report them to Google (or even government agencies) if they don't allow you to unsubscribe. – geffchang Jun 24 '14 at 1:12
  • Its still a app I want to use. Just that I want to get rid of the subscription. Its a third party app, not google app, so contacting google wont help. Its a separate APK and you have to allow foregin apps to be able to install it. The app makers explanation is: "This subscription gives me free perks at a website. I do not earn any Money. Thus the app cannot check if the subscription is Active or not, since the website I get free perks at, does not belong to me, and thus I had to block unsubscription because else everyone would just unsubscribe and use the app for free." So no recourse that way – sebastian nielsen Jun 24 '14 at 1:36
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First, I'd report that app as fraud to Google: such behavior IMHO contradicts with their rules (you can also give the appmaker the option to either have you removed from that subscription, or you would report – with the latter resulting in his app being removed from Play).

Second, if you don't need premium SMS services in general, check with your provider to have them removed altogether. If you can convince them you cannot unsubscribe due to fraudulent behavior of an app having you subscribed to and not letting you unsubscribe, it's their duty to take care for it (to do so, they don't need to reveal that "servicename" to you, as long as they stop charging you). Otherwise you could report them to the corresponding regulation office.

Having premium services disabled altogether should stop them from charging you. After that, if you don't want to read messages coming from that dubious service, you can simply put their number on your blacklist.

  • As I said, the app is not on Play. Its only a APK file on a website. So Google service agreement do not apply. And the operator said that "if you agreed to a contract, we are not goig to help you get rid of the contract. Pacta sunt servanda." they said. So I can nothing do. About blocking premium service, the operator specifically told me its not going to stop already subscribed services, that will only block NEW subscriptions from be made, and also one-time premium SMS. So please help me. I see that the app attempts to send the SMS each startup, so if I could just log whatever is sent as msg? – sebastian nielsen Jun 25 '14 at 2:08
  • Is your device rooted? Then you can withdraw the app the permission to send SMS. As you've got the number, you could also ask your provider to block that number: there's no contract forcing you to call that number repeatedly. Unfortunately, it seems not possible to block outgoing SMS on the Android device itself without root. // Might not be the nice way: but how would the dev react when threatened with a blog revealing this praxis? This kind of "lifetime contract" will clearly be seen as malicious behavior. // Last chance: drop your contract, get a new one, factory-reset your phone :( – Izzy Jun 25 '14 at 6:27
  • No. It wont help to revoke the apps permission. As I said, sending "START [servicename]" triggers a periodic billing WITHOUT any outgoing SMSes being sent periodically. Its like recurring payment on a credit card. Thus, I need to find out the [servicename] Word so I can send "STOP [servicename]" to stop the periodic billing. Blocking the number will not stop the billing. And my operator said that if I Close my contract, I will get direct-billed for the recurring subscription UNTIL I "STOP" the recurring billing. And stopping the billing can ONLY be done by knowing the [servicename]. – sebastian nielsen Jun 26 '14 at 12:14

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