Scammers Pretending to be Family Members: Cyber Update

Our first cyber security story involves another new Whatsapp scam where cyber criminals are posing as Whatsapp user's friends and family and asking them to send them money. Scammers send the victim a message claiming to be someone they know, and providing a ‘reason’ why they are using a new number. They then go on to give a fake reason as to why they need the user to send them money. 

A thread posted on twitter by Jacqui Oatley shows how the scammers attempted to get her to send them money. The screenshots of the conversation can be seen below.

This is a different type of scam to the ones we have looked at before, and it highlights the importance of confirming who you are talking to before sending any money or personal data- just because they say they are a friend or family member, doesn’t mean they are. Asking them a question only that person would know, or insisting that you speak on the phone first can be good ways of confirming identity. The NCSC suggests that urgency is one of the telltale signs of a scam like this (which can be seen in the screenshots), and they have advice on how to spot a scam, and guidance on how to report one.

Google removes malware-infected apps from Play Store

Google has recently been attempting to remove malware infected apps from their Play store, in an attempt to limit the cyber risk posed to their users. As part of this cleanse, it has been reported that various malware have been detected. Malware known as Autolycos, Joker and Facestealer were found in 60 apps which had been downloaded by over 3.3 million users. 

 For something to be considered Malware, it can include viruses, worms, trojans or code/content that can damage computer systems, networks or devices. Whilst it is possible for malware infected apps to find their way onto trusted app stores such as the App store and Play store, the NCSC still suggest that you only download apps from these official stores, as you’re much less likely to download an infected app through these channels than unofficial stores. Additionally, it is also vital that you keep your devices up to date with the latest software to maximise your device’s security.

 

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