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Scams & Warnings

‘Juice Jacking’ Criminals Use Public USB Chargers to Steal Data

Carol Kay

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Travelers should avoid using public USB power charging stations in airports, hotels and other locations because they may contain dangerous malware, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office warns.

In the USB Charger Scam, often called “juice jacking,” criminals load malware onto charging stations or cables they leave plugged in at the stations so they may infect the phones and other electronic devices of unsuspecting users.

The malware may lock the device or export data and passwords directly to the scammer.

TIPS:

  • Use an AC power outlet, not a USB charging station.
  • Take AC and car chargers for your devices when traveling.
  • Consider buying a portable charger for emergencies.
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