Although the alarm has been raised in Australia, FluBot has previously targeted users in Europe, too. Vodafone UK has shared details of how to avoid the scam.
But don’t panic yet. Unless you have clicked one of these links and installed the rogue app, you should be safe. FluBot can only be installed where users have permitted app installations from outside of the official Google Play store.
Cyber security expert Jake Moore told Express.co.uk these SMS attacks, also known as “smishing” are one of the most popular ways for scammers to target you. This is because of how simple it is to set up, but also because it can be impossible to find out who sent the text.
“Not only are people less suspicious when receiving text messages, these messages often come packed with an action attached in order to manipulate the unsuspecting victims into clicking the link without even a moment to think,” he explained. “Many people are now well aware of the dangers lurking in phishing emails but less people are aware of the threats or even scams found in SMS messages.”
He added some words of advice for those looking to avoid being caught up in similar hoaxes: “These messages can be very inviting and often look very believable. Anyone receiving such text messages with links must first err on the side of caution and then secondly spend time studying the URL. There will often be a clue in the wording that when inspected will highlight that it likely won’t take you to the genuine site. If in doubt, I would advise people to search for the URL online and remain cautious.”