UK smartphone owners should remain vigilant as dangerous text scams continue to spread across the country. Just last week, Vodafone warned its customers to watch out for text messages that claim to be from delivery firm DHL, with the mobile network saying the “attacks will gain serious traction very quickly.”
Soon after this warning from Vodafone, Express.co.uk reported that even more consumers were being targeted by these delivery scam texts with a flurry of messages appearing on devices.
And now, carrier Three is warning its customers of a new version of the threat and even launched a dedicated webpage with a fresh alert about the dangers of the FluBot malware. Three says that it’s aware of a growing number of fake text messages, which are not only claiming to be from delivery firms but also popular high street supermarkets and online retailers, including ASDA, Argos and Amazon.
“We are aware that a significant number of people across the UK have been targeted with an SMS message that has been faked to look as if it has come from a delivery service,” explained Three. “While initial messages claimed to be from DHL, the scam also has taken on other company brands including Asda, Amazon and Argos, to name a few.
“This fraudulent attack has affected all network operators, and as an industry, we are advising customers to be vigilant and careful about clicking on any links received in an SMS.”
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The simple texts attempt to trick unsuspecting users into clicking on a link which then downloads nasty FluBot malware which is capable of allowing cyber thieves to steal personal data including online banking credentials.
It’s worth noting that this threat only works on Android devices and Apple’s iPhone is not currently at risk. This is due to the way the malware is downloaded and installed via something called an APK.
Unlike Apple, which only allows apps to be installed via its official App Store, Android is a much more open platform with users able to add extra software to their devices away from the Google Play Store. It’s one thing many Android users love about owning these phones as they feel less restricted but it can also have serious consequences.
If you own an Android phone and think you have clicked on the link then it’s vital to act fast. In its alert to customers, Three says, “If you have received the message and have clicked on the link and downloaded the file on an android device you should be advised that your contacts, SMS messages and online banking details (if present) may have been accessed and that these may now be under the control of the fraudster.”
“We strongly advise that you perform a factory reset immediately Failure to do this will leave you at continuing risk of exposure to a fraudster accessing personal data. When you set up the device after the reset, it may ask you if you want to restore from a backup. “You should avoid restoring from any backups created after you downloaded the app, as they will also be infected.”