May 17, 2022

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The old video scam is back.  This is how they try to trick you over the mobile phone.

The old video scam is back. This is how they try to trick you over the mobile phone.

Our cell phones are becoming increasingly important to scammers. Here are some scam trends to look out for.

Several people received similar messages on Messenger a few years ago. Video messages are now used in text messages. The intent is to follow the link and install an app – which contains a virus that controls the contents of your phone.

Everyone has their cell phone with them everywhere. It also makes it easier to be a fraud, notes Oyvind Christiansen. He is a security expert at Telia. Christiansen is following fraud trends and trying to stop fraud attempts.

Banking information. Username and password. Personal documents stored in cloud services. More and more personal information is available on our mobile phones. Therefore, scammers will reach us via mobile.

Another form is a message that you have to click on a link to hear an audio message. Here you will also be notified that you must download an app to hear the message. Do not do it.

A new type of hyperactive virus

The aggressive flubot ensured that many Norwegians experienced an attempted SMS scam in the run-up to Christmas.

Virus infects Android phones. The messages contain links to download an application that contains the virus.

Those who install the app are required to grant the rights to the app, which in practice give the scammer control of the phone. iPhone users are sent to a page where they are asked to log in and enter information – this is called phishing.

Infected phones emit text messages.

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Stop 180,000 text messages every day

– We have blocked the sending of SMS with links to more than 1,300 subscribers, says Oyvind Christiansen, Telia security expert.

On some days this week, they turned off 180,000 text messages from these phones. There is reason to believe that the perpetrators are extracting information from phones infected with the virus.

In the past year, there have been private text messages telling them that a package is on its way. This year, there’s a twist, new and old: messages that your video has been posted and that you should go in and watch it. Many people remember that this was like the plague on Messenger a few years ago.

Crooks play on curiosity. The messages mention that you need to download Flashplayer to view the video. Oyvind Christiansen explains that it is a program that many recognize, but is no longer in use.

Clicking the link will take you to a page where you will download an app called Flashplayer. But it’s really a virus.

Øivind Kristiansen is a security expert at the telecom company Telia.

“Bitcoin scam”

The so-called investment scam is known to many from fake newspaper websites on the Internet.

There seem to be articles from well-known Norwegian media that say that Very famous Norwegians They participated in a talk show and told how much they earned from an investment, preferably a product linked to bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.

Scammers are trying to lure people who have read about big profits from cryptocurrency, but they have no idea how to buy it themselves.

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Christiansen says similar scams also happen via phone calls and SMS texts.

We believe, among other things, that there is an environment in Norway that misuses our prepaid cards for this purpose. You need a social security number to register a prepaid card in Norway, but it can come from identity theft. We also suspect that people who do scams will be abused. Christiansen says they then gladly provide their Social Security number, which is then used to purchase a prepaid card.

In these cases, Norwegians are contacted by phone, preferably in Norwegian or English.

Messages spreading the so-called Flubot virus – as is the case here – and calls can come from Norwegian numbers. This does not mean that you do not have to think twice before clicking on links and downloading things.

Pretend to call from a Norwegian number

Another phenomenon is called “plagiarism”. This is when scammers give a wrong phone number when calling. Obviously, it seems more credible when the number is Norwegian.

In the past, scammers often used a single number for a long time. Now they change the numbers a lot. Then it’s harder to detect that something illegal has happened, Christiansen says.

The targeted use of real numbers is also a recent trend:

– Now we see that scammers actually find, for example, the number of a Norwegian bank and use it. The strange thing we’ve seen a lot in the past days is that they were apparently called from Norwegian phone numbers – but they had nine instead of eight, says Oyvind Christiansen.

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In both investment fraud and deception, fraudsters use so-called social manipulation to trick victims into paying for services that do not exist.