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Warning over Android banking scam that can steal money when a call is answered

Android users are being warned that answering a fraudulent phone call could lead to their bank accounts being put at risk.

Scammers are said to be targeting Android users by posing as banks in a scheme that allows them to take over your phone and bank account when you answer their phone call, reports the Daily Record.

The cyber criminals are using malware called BRATA, which has previously been found on dangerous apps that managed to sneak onto Google Play Store, as it can evade most anti-virus scanners.

Cleafy, a fraud management firm, discovered the latest version of the malware which can evade the majority of anti-virus scanners.

The company warned that this scam could spread to European countries after attacks in Italy and Brazil.

How does the scam work?

First of all victims will be sent a text from criminals posing as their bank.

The text contains a link to a fake site and an invitation to download a fake anti-spam app that can overtake phones with the alarming power to access pictures, texts and record screens.

The message also says they will shortly be contacted by their bank.

Hackers will then call their targets to convince them to install the app in a process that requires multiple permissions which will allow criminals to take over the device.

Once installed, the scammers can remotely control victims' phones and make fraudulent transactions.

The criminals will be able to view any two factor authentication (2FA) codes a bank sends to a user when they're trying to access their internet banking account.

This is key to the scammers efforts, and if the cyber criminals are successful, could lead to victims being severely defrauded.

Additionally, screen recording would give hackers the usernames and passwords they need to access internet banking accounts.

In order to stay safe from such texts, always beware of any unsolicited messages you receive asking you to hand over personal information such as bank details, or usernames and passwords for online accounts.

Also, be cautious of any messages that advise you to download apps you haven't heard of or click on links that don't look official.

If you fare still unsure whether a message you receive is legitimate or not, then head to your bank's official website, find a contact number and phone them to speak to an official advisor directly.

You can report all scams to Action Fraud.



Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).



The contents of blog posts on this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. EMCRC provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us by email.


EMCRC does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this blog. EMCRC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.

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