Android Users Targeted: New Bad Call Scam Locks Phones, Wipes Data

New Bad Call Scam Locks Phones, Wipes Data

A new wave of scams targeting Android users has emerged, leaving victims locked out of their devices and with their data wiped clean. Dubbed the “Bad Call” scam, this malicious scheme preys on unsuspecting individuals through deceptive phone calls, often leading to devastating consequences.

How the Scam Works

The scam typically begins with a seemingly innocuous phone call from an unknown number. The caller, posing as a representative from a reputable company or government agency, attempts to gain the victim’s trust by offering a lucrative deal, a warning about a compromised account, or some other urgent matter.

Once the caller has established a rapport, they proceed to guide the victim through a series of steps, ostensibly to resolve the issue at hand. However, these instructions are designed to trick the victim into granting the caller remote access to their device or downloading malicious software.

In some cases, the caller may instruct the victim to enter a specific code into their phone’s dialer, claiming it will verify their identity or fix a technical problem. However, this code often activates a “factory reset” command, wiping the device’s data and locking the victim out.

In other instances, the caller may convince the victim to download a seemingly legitimate app, which is actually malware that allows the attacker to seize control of the device remotely. Once in control, the attacker can lock the phone, encrypt the data, and demand a ransom for its release.

Consequences for Victims

The consequences of falling victim to the Bad Call scam can be severe. Victims may lose all of their personal data, including photos, videos, contacts, and messages. In addition, they may be locked out of their device, unable to access important accounts or services.

The financial impact of the scam can also be significant. If the attacker encrypts the victim’s data, they may demand a ransom for its release. Even if the victim pays the ransom, there is no guarantee that they will regain access to their data.

Protecting Yourself from the Bad Call Scam

The best way to protect yourself from the Bad Call scam is to be aware of its existence and to exercise caution when receiving calls from unknown numbers.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

  • Never give out personal information or financial details over the phone to someone you don’t know.
  • Be wary of callers who try to create a sense of urgency or pressure you into taking immediate action.
  • Don’t follow instructions from unknown callers to enter codes into your phone or download apps.
  • If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and contact the company or agency the caller claimed to represent directly.

If you believe you have fallen victim to the Bad Call scam, contact your local authorities immediately.