Utility scams: What they are and how to handle them
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The warning is directed mainly at Android users as they seem to be the main demographic targeted. Lloyds reported: “Fraudsters are putting apps with hidden viruses on Google Play.”
The new scam tactic could potentially make anyone with an Android device a victim.
Lloyds highlighted: “It could be any kind of app, such as one for a QR code.”
So how does one tell if an app has the potential to drain their bank account and steal their private information?
Well, that’s the difficult part as fake apps can appear incredibly legitimate and genuine, although it may not install properly or work after it has been downloaded.
Lloyds reported that the virus can “cause serious harm” to devices which can be difficult to fix.
They suggested Android users take an extra step before downloading an app to ensure it is safe.
This can be as simple as researching the app, company, checking the terms and conditions and reading reviews.
Computer security company, McAfee, shared five issues that could indicate one’s device has a virus or malware.
Devices with malware or viruses tend to overheat or get hot to the touch. This is because the internal components are working harder.
It doesn’t feel right
Viruses impact almost every function of a device, although this impact can be subtle or unseen to the naked eye.
However, McAfee noted that if “everything feels off” it may be an indication of malware.
This can include the likes of apps crashing, battery charges not lasting as long or slower loading speeds.
McAfee noted an increase in pop-ups and new apps is a good indicator of a malicious app or virus on a device.
They noted: “If you take a closer look at your app library, you may even see app icons from apps you never downloaded.”
Links sent from one’s own account
Malware may send messages out from the infected device to their contact list in an attempt to spread the malware.
McAfee recommended users change their passwords if they notice this.
Potentially the most worrisome of these red flags is unauthorised charges being made as a malicious app makes purchases, uses the victim’s personal information and commits fraud on their accounts.
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