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Android phone keeps getting OTA ads, can not find the responsable app

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jnelsoninjax    10,228

I have a cheap (read free from the Government) ANS UL40 cellphone that runs Android 7.1.1, and it keeps displaying ads from Whatsapp that says Don't forget to receive benefits today. However I have disabled and removed Whatsapp from the phone and I do not see any other install app that could be responsible for showing the ads, so I assuming that they are OTA, but wouldn't it need an app to show the ads? Anyone have any ideas how to disable these ads?

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Brandon H    2,068

sounds like they baked something into their OEM rom to me...

 

if a factory reset doesn't help then you may need to unlock the bootloader and load a custom ROM

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dipsylalapo    1,368

Having a look online, it seems to be an issue with that phone, specifically ones that are issued free/with a large discount. 

 

Amazon did (or still do) something similar with the phones that they were selling and I think the only way to remove them was to replace the ROM. These free phones are normally not ever free so the ads are they way they make revenue. 

 

You could try uninstalling every app that you've installed and see if that makes a difference. Or try running a malware scanner.

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jnelsoninjax    10,228
5 hours ago, dipsylalapo said:

Having a look online, it seems to be an issue with that phone, specifically ones that are issued free/with a large discount. 

 

Amazon did (or still do) something similar with the phones that they were selling and I think the only way to remove them was to replace the ROM. These free phones are normally not ever free so the ads are they way they make revenue. 

 

You could try uninstalling every app that you've installed and see if that makes a difference. Or try running a malware scanner.

After I posted this, I found another article that dealt exactly with the issue I was having and even gave me a step by step guide on how to fix said issue which involved downloading and installing Malware Bytes and let it run, and it found found 2 apps that were bad. The only issue was it was unable to remove one of the files because it was considered a system file, but using a command within ADB, I was able to remove the offending file(s).

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Brandon H    2,068

nice @jnelsoninjax care to post the link where you found the fix in case anyone else comes across this thread with a similar issue? :)

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cork1958    1,420
30 minutes ago, jnelsoninjax said:

After I posted this, I found another article that dealt exactly with the issue I was having and even gave me a step by step guide on how to fix said issue which involved downloading and installing Malware Bytes and let it run, and it found found 2 apps that were bad. The only issue was it was unable to remove one of the files because it was considered a system file, but using a command within ADB, I was able to remove the offending file(s).

Let us know if phone still works and that it totally removed all ads also.

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jnelsoninjax    10,228
57 minutes ago, Brandon H said:

nice @jnelsoninjax care to post the link where you found the fix in case anyone else comes across this thread with a similar issue? :)

Sure, https://androidforums.com/threads/ad-ware-assurancewireless-com-ans-ul40-2018-gov-phone.1276766/

@cork1958 It works, and only has one set of ads that can not be removed, the article even stated that Google play ads were not going to be removed, but the full screen pop ups and other annoyances are gone! 

Also for future reference:

 

Edited by jnelsoninjax
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