Online scams and malicious attacks have become prevalent in the digital age, taking on increasingly sophisticated forms. One such deceitful tactic involves a fake 3-month Amazon/Netflix Premium offer that targets smartphone users (mostly Android users), luring them into installing an app. The malicious app claims users can stream premium content on Amazon, Netflix, and live football matches.
This malicious scheme preys on unsuspecting users’ trust in social media platforms and their desire for free services, exploiting vulnerabilities to infiltrate their devices. In this article, we will delve into the workings of this insidious plot and provide essential tips on staying safe in the face of such threats.
How The App Infects Your Phone
It starts with the user clicking on the malicious link to install the app. Once the user installs the App, it tricks you into allowing some permissions. Once you do that, the App takes control of your WhatsApp and automatically spreads the links to other Whatsapp contacts and groups without your knowledge. The app reads your messages and replies to them by posting annoying links to your friends. See the image below to see how the app posts the links.
Also, with the permissions allowed, the app could access your important data, such as contacts.
My Phone is Already Infected. How do I fix it?
If your phone has already been infected with this malicious app, don’t fret. Fixing it is as easy as uninstalling an app. However, it involves a lot of tapping or clicking since the App hides in the system apps category of your device. Note that the steps may be slightly different depending on your phone type. Follow the steps below to fix it:
1. Head to phone Settings and tap on Apps.
2. For Samsung and most Android devices, you should see a list of the apps installed on your phone. On other Android devices like Tecno, Infinix, Xiaomi, etc., you must click on Manage Apps before seeing the list of installed apps. Now tap on the three dots in the top right corner of your screen.
3. Tap on Show All Apps. On other phones, you will tap on Show System Apps. Now all apps installed apps and system apps will be displayed on your phone.
4. The malicious app will appear nameless with a plain white icon. On other phones, the app does not show any icon at all. It appears to take storage of around 6Mb ish. Now tap on the app and select Uninstall at the bottom of the screen, and the problem should be fixed.
The Way Forward
- Download from Official Sources: Only download apps from reputable sources such as the official App store. Avoid sideloading apps from third-party websites you do not trust.
- Verify Promotions: Be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true, especially if they are not directly from the official app or website.
- Check App Permissions: Review the permissions requested by any app before installation. If an app requests access to unnecessary data, reconsider its legitimacy.
- Keep Software Updated: Regularly update your Android operating system and apps to ensure you have the latest security patches.
- Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest scams and cybersecurity threats to recognize and avoid potential risks.
The fake Amazon Premium scam is just one of the many deceptive tactics cybercriminals employ to exploit users’ trust and steal sensitive information. Awareness and caution are crucial in safeguarding ourselves from falling victim to such schemes. By staying informed, verifying promotions, and being selective about app sources, we can bolster our defenses against these malicious attacks, ensuring a safer digital experience for all users.