A new scam text message is doing the rounds in the UK, and it’s so serious that UK mobile networks have issued warnings to their customers.
The scam text in question claims to be from DHL and suggests you have a package arriving. You’re then asked to click a link which will take you to a genuine-appearing website where you’ll ask you to download a ‘tracking app’ to help you track your parcel.
But if you download the app, you’ll actually be downloading Spyware.
Spyware is a type of malware that steals personal details while it stays hidden in your device. This particular spyware scam has been dubbed ‘Flubot’.
If you unknowingly download Flubot to your device, not only will the spyware take your extremely personal personal details, such as passwords, logins and banking information, but it will also send the scam text on to contacts in your phone to keep the scam going.
At the moment, only Android users can download the fake app. However, iPhone users who receive the scam text could still be diverted to a fake website that will steal personal info.
The scam text is circulating in such high numbers that it’s prompted Vodafone, EE and Three to all issue warnings on their social media accounts.
Text scams claiming to be from delivery services are all too common. But while most scams opt for the ‘phishing’ method of collecting personal details, the new text differs in that it requires you to download an app.
Downloading the app is actually quite a complicated process too, as it’s not from an official app store and you’re required to download an APK file. This is a way of installing apps on Android phones that don’t come from the Google Play store. APKs can’t be downloaded onto Apple’s iPhones.
While the current version of the scam claims to be from DHL, it's highly likely that the carrier name will be changed. So be wary of any text you get that claims to be from a delivery service, especially if you’re not expecting anything in the post.
What should you do if you have already downloaded the app?
If you’ve already fallen victim to the Flubot scam, there are a few steps you must take to protect your passwords and information from hackers:
- Don’t log into any of your online accounts or enter any passwords or sensitive information into a website on your phone.
- Perform a factory reset of your device to ‘clean’ it.
- When you restart your phone, DO NOT restore from backup as this may reinfect your device
- Change all your passwords and login details
With so many scams doing the rounds these days, it’s really important to stay digitally aware. Never click suspicious links and only download legitimate apps from official app stores.
Find out more about protecting yourself from scams.