Using Your Fingerprint on Smartphones Is Not As Safe As It Used To Be
The Touch ID is a great feature used on iPhones and Android devices to keep our mobile data safe by asking us for a fingerprint. This security measure is supported by many apps, too, asking for our thumb to send payments. Unfortunately, although the Touch ID adds an extra level of safety, criminals found a new way to use it and defraud victims. Be very careful when an app asks for your fingerprint in exchange to access tips, products, or other pages. How does the scam work?
Watch the video below to see the Touch ID scam exposed on the news:
There has been an influx of apps lately that have been tricking users into pressing the fingerprint button. The bait comes as personal recommendations of products, depending on what the app’s specialty is. As victims comply, they accept in-app purchases of these products, most of them over $100.
Some examples of these fraudulent apps are Calories Tracker, Fitness Balance, or Heart Rate Monitor. Instead of seeing products, the victim activates the purchase by confirming it with the fingerprint. These apps first came on the market a year ago, but now they are making a comeback, using new names but the same techniques.
To be more specific, the scam works like this: To unlock your account “essential data”, you must hold your finger down on the Touch ID scanner for 10 seconds. However, during the process, a notification appears and asks you to accept a $100 charge. The payment is authenticated when you use the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. So the charge is immediately taken, hitting your bank balance or App Store credit (it depends what you have connected to the app).
These apps were initially removed from the App Store, but what you need to take away from this is not necessarily the name of the apps but the way the scam work. It is because after being deleted from the app stores, criminals create brand new ones using different names.
However, don’t be fooled by the fact that the niche of the three apps above is medical care. It could happen to you after downloading and using a new app, regardless of the sector. Although the fraudulent apps have been reported to be active in the App Store (iOS), there are several apps listed on the Google Play marketplace, too, that require occasional fingerprinting.
Fingerprint/Touch ID Scam: How To Report
Make your family and friends aware of the Fingerprint/Touch ID Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers and questionable apps to iTunes, Google Play and the Federal Trade Commission using the links below:
Report Scammers To iTunes Here
Report Scammers To Google Play Here
Report Scammers To The FTC Here
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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