Users of the gay hook up app Grindr have complained that their phones started calling premium rate numbers after a rogue advertiser pushed mobiles to call without their owner’s permission.

The malware ads, which have now been withdrawn, caused mobile phones to automatically dial premium rate numbers when users opened the Grindr app. Speaking to TheRegister.co.uk a Grindr spokesperson said,

“Grindr is aware of this issue and takes it very seriously. Ensuring that our users have the best experience possible is one of Grindr’s top priorities and we will not stand for users having to deal with malicious advertisements.

“We have both direct advertisers as well third-party ad networks which supply advertising to the app. The ads you reference were served by one of these third-party ad networks.

“While we do have a number of safeguards in place to monitor for ads on third-party networks, we serve billions of ads on our network, so there is the occasional chance that ads like this may appear.

“In this instance, we immediately reached out to our third-party networks to have these malicious ads removed.”

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One user told the website, that even if you tried to cancel the call you were still charged the connection fee. Some users have reportedly been stung with bills of up to £65, for calls they didn’t know were being placed by their handsets.

TheGayUK reached out to Grindr to find out whether refunds or compensation would be offered to users affected by the malware.