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New Years Eve in Las Vegas with 8 News NOW

‘Juice jacking scam’: Why you shouldn’t use public USB chargers

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Ever use those public USB charging stations at the airport or hotel?

If you do, authorities are advising you to stop doing so immediately.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office tweeted a warning earlier this week advising people to stop using public USB charging stations like those at the airport or mall because they could be filled with malware and susceptible to tampering.

According to authorities, scammers can load malware onto the charging stations or through cables left at the charging kiosks and once you plug in your device, that’s when it becomes infected.

Once the malware is loaded onto your phone, it could potentially send a full backup of your phone including private information such as passwords and addresses directly to the criminal.

Authorities have issued the following tips to avoid becoming a scam victim:

  • 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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