Federal police have warned of a new type of online scam that allows victims to see their bank accounts “empty” in real time. The criminal procedure is known as the “ghost hand”, it invades the mobile phones of victims who are tricked into installing malicious software.
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According to the Federal Police Directorate of Pernambuco, it is estimated that 40,000 people across Brazil may have fallen into the “phantom fist”. This type of crime can be prevented by paying close attention to some details, such as the form of communication.
In this article, read the answers to the following questions:
1. How do criminals reach victims?
According to the Federal Police, in a “phantom hand strike”, criminals reach their victims by simulating recordings from telephone exchanges. When the call is answered, the client is turned into a companion and is actually a member of the gang.
Criminals approach the victim to report the presence of some kind of suspicious movement, purchase or debit the user’s account to obtain information.
PE Federal Police warns of a scam that the victim sees a emptied bank account
Another type of criminals approach is through emails or text messages. In this mode, users should pay attention to the content of the scam (see video above).
Criminals use catchy scripts to get users to download a fake app or falsify security updates for a banking app that the user has already installed on the cell phone, or for the device’s operating system.
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If the user installs the application sent by email or text message, Criminals can remotely access victims’ cell phones And use this vulnerability to access banking applications, and make unwanted movements.
People should be aware of false links and messages like “Your phone is infected,” because, according to PF, native mobile operating systems and financial institutions do not communicate in this way with the user.
2. How do you know if the approach is correct?
When receiving a call or text message from your bank announcing a suspicious violation, the person should suspect the approach and confirm the action by communicating through the official channels of the institution, and not by numbers sent via messages.
The back of credit cards usually shows the bank service channel numbers, through which the user can communicate without leaving home. If you prefer, it is also appropriate for the client to come to your agency for clarification.
3. Are banking apps safe?
According to the Federal Police, banking apps already have a very reliable security structure in their software, and there are no records of security breaches in these apps.
With this, it is not necessary to install parallel applications outside the official store of the operating system, which often automatically updates the installed applications, without the need for the user to manually update the applications.
4. How are suspicious movements identified?
Banking transactions such as purchases, loans, deposits and transfers are usually sent to the customer through the notification of the application installed on the user’s cell phone.
The customer can see, in the app itself, whether any transaction has been approved, declined or even the amounts paid in purchases. If a customer notices a strange amount in their balance, which does not correspond to any notification they are aware of, this may be a sign of a scam.
5. How can I protect myself?
The two-factor authentication option can be activated to authenticate banking transactions in the application settings, making suspicious transactions without user permission difficult.
It is important for the customer to develop the habit of changing passwords regularly to access applications, and to create strong passwords with a good set of characters. Passwords can be stored safely in a trusted manager.
If you are already a victim of a “ghost hand” scam or any other financial fraud, the police advise the customer to seek out a police station that specializes in digital crime and file a report.
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Increase in cybercrime
Learn how to protect yourself from scams from thieves on your cell phone
According to the Ministry of Social Defense (SDS), a comparison of the first half of last year with the same period of this year shows a 237% increase in cybercrime cases in the state of Pernambuco (See the video above).
In the first half of this year, 944 incidents of this type of crime were recorded in Pernambuco. In the same period last year, there were 280 notifications.
According to Eronides Meneses, head of the police department for the suppression of cybercrime, social networks are the platforms on which fraudsters most frequently spread.
Videos: Most viewed from Pernambuco in the last 7 days
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