The scam designed to intercept customer support calls and steal banking data using fake Android apps has returned, and it’s more effective than ever.Initially discovered almost a year ago, the malware known as FakeCalls has returned and researchers from cybersecurity firm Check Point (opens in new tab) have indicated that it has employed further evasion techniques.According to its report, the Trojan can “masquerade as one of more than 20 financial applications” to imitate phone calls in a scam known as voice phishing.
Voice phishing malware
The malware appears to be targeting South Korea specifically, a country that according to a government report (opens in new tab) lost around $600 million in 2020 due to voice phishing attacks alone.Not only had the cybersecurity researchers discovered over 2,500 samples of the malware, but the “unique” evasion techniques it used had “not previously [been] seen in the wild,” suggesting that a more advanced strain of malware has emerged and could remain undercover for longer periods of time.The attack is reasonably simple: once FakeCalls is illegitimately installed on a victim’s Android device, the malware operators’ phone number is masked by a genuine bank number to gain trust before victims are asked to confirm payment details and subsequently expose themselves to all manner of risks including identity theft.Another report by Kaspersky (opens in new tab) uncovered the types of attacks that were most notable of 2022. FakeCalls was found to have been the second most common mobile banking Trojan of last year representing 8.27% of all installs, though it trails far behind Bray in first place at 66.40%.The same report highlighted China as the country whose citizens were proportionally attacked the highest with mobile malware, with South Korea failing to make it into the top 10.
The FakeCalls Android Banking Scam is Back: An Overview
The FakeCalls Android Banking Scam is a fraudulent scheme that targets Android users by tricking them into revealing their personal banking information. The scam involves an automated phone call that appears to be from a bank or financial institution, prompting the user to provide their account details or credit card information. The scammers then use this information to steal funds from the user’s account.
This scam was first reported in 2019, but it has resurfaced in 2021, with reports of victims losing thousands of dollars to the scammers. The recent resurgence of the FakeCalls Android Banking Scam can be attributed to the increasing use of digital banking services and the vulnerability of Android devices to malware attacks.
How to Spot the FakeCalls Android Banking Scam
It’s essential to be aware of the warning signs of the FakeCalls Android Banking Scam to avoid falling victim to it. Here are some red flags that should raise suspicion:
– Automated phone call prompt to enter banking information.
– Caller ID displaying the name of a bank or financial institution.
– Urgent or threatening tone in the call.
– Unusual account activity, such as unexpected transactions.
What to do if you’ve been a victim of the FakeCalls Android Banking Scam
If you suspect that you’ve been scammed, it’s crucial to take action immediately to minimize financial losses. Here are some steps to follow:
– Contact your bank or financial institution to report the fraud and freeze your account.
– Change passwords and PINs for all banking-related accounts.
– File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
– Report the scam to your local law enforcement agency.
How to Protect Yourself from the FakeCalls Android Banking Scam
Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some measures you can take to protect yourself from falling victim to the FakeCalls Android Banking Scam:
– Never disclose your banking information over the phone or email.
– Always verify the caller’s identity by contacting your bank directly.
– Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your devices.
– Keep your mobile operating system and apps up-to-date with the latest security patches.
In conclusion, the FakeCalls Android Banking Scam is a real threat that has resurfaced in recent times. Being vigilant and taking the necessary precautions can prevent you from becoming a victim of this scam. Stay informed, stay safe.
FAQs on The FakeCalls Android Banking Scam
Q. How can I tell if the phone call is fake?
A. If you receive a call that prompts you to enter your banking information, without verifying your identity, you should suspect it is a fake call.
Q. What should I do if I receive a suspicious phone call?
A. Hang up immediately and contact your bank to verify if the call was genuine. Also, make sure to report suspicious calls to the authorities.
Q. Can my antivirus software protect me from the FakeCalls Android Banking Scam?
A. Yes, antivirus and anti-malware software can help detect and remove malicious software that scammers use to steal your personal information.
Q. Can I recover my money if I fall victim to the FakeCalls Android Banking Scam?
A. It’s challenging to recover your funds once they’ve been stolen. However, you may be able to get a partial refund from your bank or file a claim with your insurance provider.
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