Every minute, twenty three American Android users will access a malicious URL. These are the statistics from Q1 of 2018 according to a report from PSafe’s dfndr lab, which analyzed 200 million digital files from more than 21 million active users of its security application. According to Tech.Co these URLs include “fake virus alerts to phony dating sites, [and] new Android scams.”
Tech.Co put together a list of which scams Android users are most likely to fall for, based on the data PSafe released. If you’re an Android user, from the United States or elsewhere, keep an eye out for anything you feel might fit into these categories.
The third most likely scam is “fake giveaways.” Tech.Co says that fake promotional stunts and sweepstakes are a very popular method to phish for personal data. “The scam — which has been detected by dfndr lab 108,106 times — works by dangling an impressive prize in front of the phone users. It urges potential victims to take an action in order to qualify for a shot at winning. Users might be asked to download an app, click through a malicious link, or subscribe to an SMS service with hidden costs.”
In other words, do not sign up for any giveaway or promotional material unless it is from a brand, person, or website that you know is secure, and that you trust with your personal data.
The second most likely scam, believe it or not, is “adult dating sites.” PSafe’s dfndr lab found 175,423 instances of malicious activity from adult dating sites in Q1.
Tech.Co says, “Users might be scammed in one of two different ways by these shady dating sites. One possibility is that they’ll redirect users to advertisement pages that earn a clickthrough-based commission. This also scams those trying to advertise through them, as well as mobile users who inadvertently click on the ads. The other option is the sites ask for the ability to send notifications, and then abuse that ability by asking users for the chance to install malware.”
And the big winner for Android scams is “fake virus alerts.” Essentially, this is when a banner ad pops up on a phone masquerading as a system alert. Usually, these will say that your phone is infected and that the only way to solve this problem is to download a specific antivirus app, which as you can guess, was really the malware all along.
Tech.Co says, “Perhaps the recent security scandals at Facebook have made Android mobile users fearful enough for such scams to work. Fake virus alerts have been detected a whopping 558,221 by dfndr lab.”
You might be wondering why these scams are so prevalent for smartphone users. PSafe CEO Marco DeMello told Tech.Co it’s all about money. “All scams we see are motivated by profit. Whether it is a hacker stealing personal data or an affiliate advertising network using deceptive ads to get their clients high conversion rates, the bad actor is looking to make money.”
PSafe also revealed that the demographic likely to be scammed is actually men. According to the research, men are twice as likely to click on scams as women. And while women are more likely to fall for the fake giveaways, men tend to fall for messenger schemes.
Source: The Top Scams that Android Users Fall For
Published: June 11, 2018