Beware, scammers are now stealing money using public charging ports: here is how, tips to stay safe
Cyber scammers are exploiting public charging ports, commonly found at airports, hotels, cafes, and other public places to steal sensitive user information from smartphones.
- There is a new scam called “Juice Jacking” where fraudsters exploit public charging ports to steal sensitive information from users.
- Scammers set up fake charging stations at public places and collect data from connected devices.
- To stay safe people are encouraged to avoid using public chargers.
Public charging ports are undeniably convenient, rescuing us from emergency situations when our devices run out of battery. However, in today’s technological landscape, you can never be too cautious with unfamiliar gadgets. Even seemingly harmless public charging ports, commonly found in stations and other public areas, are now becoming a target for exploitation by scammers aiming to steal sensitive information.
Scammers are using a technique called ‘Juice Jacking,’ where they exploit public charging ports to hack users’ smartphones and other devices, gaining access to sensitive information for financial gain. The scam has become widespread, not only in outside Ghana but across the globe. Earlier, the FBI issued a warning to users in the US regarding the potential risks of using public charging docks. The FBI advised people to carry their own power banks instead of relying on public chargers found in places like malls and markets.
But what exactly is Juice Jacking and how do scammers use these public facilities for their gain?
What is Juice Jacking
Juice jacking is a type of cyberattack where scammers set up fake charging stations in public places. These charging stations are designed to secretly steal sensitive data from the devices that are plugged into them. When someone plugs their device into a fake charging port, the scammers can get access to their device and start collecting personal information like passwords, credit card details, and other private data. In some cases, scammers may even inject malware directly into the victim’s device so that they can control the device remotely..
While it can be difficult for users to spot if the charging stations are fake or legit, here are some safety tips which will help you protect your devices from this cyber attack.
- To ensure the safety of your device, it’s advisable to bring your own charger and avoid unauthorized data transfer.
- If you’re in need of charging while traveling, always carry a portable power bank.
- For added security, use a USB data blocker. It is a small adapter that prevents data exchange between your device and the charging station.
- Protect your device from potential threats by disabling automatic connection to unknown networks or devices.
- Stay safe online by using reputable Wi-Fi networks and avoiding open or unsecured ones that may be vulnerable to attacks.
- Keep your device protected by regularly updating its software. These updates often include security patches to address known vulnerabilities.
- To minimize the risk of unauthorized access, refrain from unlocking your device while it’s charging.