If you see a cell phone lying on the street do not pick it up, it is a scam. Hackers can cash out your accounts

Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to deceive their victims and would not hesitate for a second to test them, even at the cost of investing large amounts of money. Proof of this is a new variant of extortion that consists of leaving a high-end smartphone lying on the street and simply waiting for someone to take the bait.

Attackers often leave these devices near parks, shopping malls, banks and other places that people enter with their car. Using the GPS location of the device, the attackers follow the person who finds the phone and, once they find it, they pose as security agents and try to take the user to a police station, where they claim the legitimate owner of the device is.

In their speech, the alleged agents claim that a complaint has been imposed for the theft of the smartphone and demand from the user around $8,000 USD in exchange for not continuing with the legal process. 

So far, these extortion attempts have only been detected in some locations in Mexico, although the authorities do not rule out that this attack could be replicated in other parts of Mexico or even in other countries. Finding a smartphone on the street can be attractive, but as we see it is best to miss the opportunity to get a free phone and try to alert other people.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.