Consumers have reported receiving text messages regarding deliveries, some of which contain links to download an app. Scammers are using this ploy to install malware on the mobile devices of the consumers being targeted.
This malware allows the scammer to access the target’s devices and access information such as bank details. Malware can also spread to other devices.
This scam is being carried out through messages sent across all mobile networks. It has been reported that the SMS claims to be from the delivery company DHL, but the names of other couriers could be used.
Consumers have reported that the messages state that a parcel is arriving and encourages the recipient to click a link that leads to an app installer. It says this installer is a parcel tracker app that will track the delivery but is actually the malware.
What is Malware?
The term ‘malware’ is an amalgamation of ‘malicious’ and ‘software’. This is a particularly vicious type of cyber-attack that can take various forms. The ultimate motive of the scammer is to obtain control of the target’s device(s).
There are also situations in which the cyber-scammer can use malware to infect a device and then use this to lock the person out of their emails and personal documents, demanding payment to be made in order to remove the virus.
Threats can extend to the information which the hacker has obtained from the victim’s device(s), threatening that the individual’s web history will be made public (sometimes mentioning the use of adult sites). Even more disturbingly, scammers have threatened to release webcam footage of the victim which they have obtained from the device(s) without the individual’s knowledge.
Avoid Paying Scammers
Paying scammers any sums requested rarely solves the problem, and may lead to further instances of extortion; either using the same information to request even more money be paid, or the sale of this information on to other scammers who can make similar attempts.
The most important thing to note when threatened with cyber blackmail is to ensure that no payment is made, immediately informing the police and your internet service provider. These acts are criminal and need to be reported as such.
If you believe you have been the target of a scam, you should contact your bank / service provider in the first instance if account details have been shared, or money has been transferred. You should also contact the police to report the situation.
Apple iPhone Users
Apple I-phone users won’t be affected by selecting the link due to Android APKs being incompatible. Other malware scams will still try to target iPhone users, so vigilance is advised.
What should I do if I encounter this scam?
Do not click on any links contained within text messages. Report the message as a scam and then delete it.
consumeradvice.scot work with various partners including Trading Standards to help catch scammers in the act and stop them in their tracks.
Always report a scam, they can happen to anyone and reporting prevents other people from being harmed. Help us to do our job in protecting Scottish consumers by reporting suspected scams and suspicious activity to us.