Its the internet. The world wide web of fake people on dating websites. Fake products and services, fake news websites and misinformation of all types. Its a whole universe of fake. And the scams are everywhere.
Travel Website Scam
The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be winding down. And so naturally the travel for pleasure industry is winding up. And the scammers are gearing up to rob you of more than just money.
Everybody in the airport is in a hurry. So this scam targets sites that speed travelers through airport security, like TSA Precheck, Global Entry and the Canadian version of Global Entry, NEXUS. Phony versions of these websites and fake third-party company sites offer to process your paperwork. The game is getting you to pay “application fees” or “service fees.” But the prize is much more than money. Its personal information. These sites can not only get your credit card data but your passport information and other sensitive personal information used to travel. Its an extremely dangerous scam if someone can use the information to steal your identity.
Of course official government sites do require you to share detailed personal information, including your passport number. But be forewarned, the fake sites can be just as thorough, you might not notice it’s a scam until its too late. And then you get hit with a second tragedy when you arrive at the airport to learn that your money was stolen and your actual application was never processed.
And you missed your flight.
And you get charged for a late cancellation at your hotel. A great vacation just went up in flames!
Protect yourself. How? Be aware, alert and suspicious. Be hyper-vigilant about URLs for the sites you are using and assume they might be fake. Ads on Facebook are immediately suspicious and ads claiming to link to the official TSA Precheck is probably not legit.
Fake Netflix App uses WhatsApp
Its rare you get something for nothing. Online its suspicious that you are offered something for nothing especially when others have to pay for it. And this is how this scam begins.
Google Play Store has been blamed for being insecure when it comes to the apps found there. Now Google is removing a fake Netflix app from the Play Store that spread malware by automatically responding to your WhatsApp messages.
Cyber security firm Check Point Research discovered the app, named FlixOnline, it assumed the look of Netflix and promised two months of free subscription through WhatsApp messages. But the link attached to these messages redirects the user to a site to that steals your data including your credit card.
Once FlixOnline app is downloaded from the Play Store, it asks for three permissions: screen overlay, battery optimization ignore, and notification. Check Point researchers noted that overlay is used by malware to create fake logins and steal user credentials by creating fake windows on top of existing apps.
FlixOnline “listened” for notifications, and automatically replied to your WhatsApp chats with a message that looked like this:
“2 Months of Netflix Premium Free at no cost For REASON OF QUARANTINE (CORONA VIRUS)* Get 2 Months of Netflix Premium Free anywhere in the world for 60 days. Get it now HERE https://bit[.]ly/3bDmzUw”.
The link, of course, was a phishing page to collect your information.
If you have this app please delete it right away and keep your friends from getting infected too.
Fake ‘System Update” Targets Android Users
If you’re using a Android phone or device you need to be on the alert. A sophisticated and highly capable spyware app is targeting Android users disguising itself as a “system update” application according to mobile security firm Zimperium zLabs.
Zimperium zLabs reports that the the malicious Android app functions as a Remote Access Trojan or RAT. It can receive and execute commands to collect and distribute a wide range of data files and perform a host of other malicious actions. Thus includes stealing instant messenger messages and database files if the root is available. The app can inspect the default browser’s bookmarks and your web searches. It can also inspect the bookmark and search history if you use the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Samsung Internet Browser. It searches for files with specific extensions, including .pdf, .doc, .docx, and .xls, .xlsx. Why? Because these types of files often contain sensitive information. And keep in mind that when we say Android device we include your tablets along with your phone.
How malicious is this app. It can record your audio and phone calls, take pictures through the front or back cameras and steal images and video. It can list the installed applications, monitor your GPS location, steal SMS messages, phone contacts, call logs, and export device information to the hacker or hackers. It also can inventory installed applications, device name and storage stats. This is serious app that means business! To top it all off it can hide its presence by hiding the icon from the device’s menu.
Here is the reason you should avoid third party app stores. This nasty little app was never available on the Google Play Store. Third party app stores are notorious sources for malicious apps, games, software and other undesirable computer add-ons. Many have almost no restrictions or checks on who can upload or sell apps. Stay away!
Now you know.