New York State is warning consumers about a new 'juice jacking' scam that could steal your personal information. It seems like every day there's a new scam that we have to be on the lookout for. As someone who travels fairly often, this one definitely caught my eye because I do this all the time.
What Is The 'Juice Jacking' Scam?
The New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection is warning New Yorkers about his scam that could potentially hack your phone or device. Thieves place skimmers inside the USB ports at public cellphone charging stations, like those found at airports or hotels. When you plug your USB charger directly into the device, scammers can access your data. We live on our phones so most likely you have personal, banking, health, and other vital information on your phone. Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said,
Summer is peak travel season when New Yorkers are constantly on the go heading to events, gatherings and vacations with friends and family. Unfortunately, nefarious scammers are always at work finding new ways to target unsuspecting consumers and steal their personal information. If you need to charge your phone or any device while traveling, it’s important to pay attention to how and where you charge these items to protect yourself from falling victim to a potential ‘juice jacking’ scam.
Once thieves have your information, they can use it to wipe your bank account clean, steal your credit identity, or even sell your info to other scammers.
How Can You Avoid Becoming A 'Juice Jacking' Victim?
The NY Division of Consumer Protection offers these tips to help you keep your personal information safe while using a public USB charger:
- If the charging kiosk offers a plug-in socket, use that or find a wall socket
- If your phone shows a prompt to "share data," select no and use the "charge only" option
- Use a data blocker device that prevents data from being transmitted through your USB cord
- Turn your phone off before you plug it into a public USB charging station
- Avoid using a public charging station altogether by carrying your own portable battery charger