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Security & privacy

Watch out! Scammers changing info on Google Maps to steal your money

An unfortunate side effect of digital life is that new scams tend to pop up every day. And as we’ve mentioned countless times, there are no limits to how far scammers will go to steal your info and your money.

Sometimes, cybercriminals even find new twists to apply to older scams — scams that weren’t too well known to begin with. And this one might really catch you off guard.

In this latest scam, thieves want to empty your bank accounts. To do so, they’re using an app you probably trust; one you might even use daily to get to your destination.

Using Google Maps to trick you

The primary role of Google Maps is to help you find places, right? You might use it to navigate you through unfamiliar cities, maybe even find the nearest fast food restaurant or gas station. But Google Maps also contains a wealth of contact information for businesses and other organizations, including financial institutions. Sometimes incorrect information on the app is the result of human error, but other instances involve deliberate attempts to scam you. That’s where this scam comes in.

Google’s map service allows users to submit changes or corrections to listings. I know — what could possibly go wrong? Well, crooks are now using that feature to change phone numbers for banks on the Google Maps app. That means, when you tap the phone number through that app, it could connect you to scammers who try to get you to reveal your account details.

Bonus: 8 Google Maps hidden places you are not allowed to see

It’s a warning being issued by police in Maharashtra, India, after reports of multiple cases recently. Even though it seems only to apply currently to India, it could still happen anywhere.

Exercise caution when calling your financial institution

While this isn’t meant for you to stop trusting the information found on Google Maps, you would be wise to double-check any details related to your finances or other sensitive info. It’s probably safe to call in a pizza order from the number you found in the app, but exercise caution and use a different method when dealing with your bank.

Check the back of your debit and credit cards for customer service numbers, or simply look for them via your bank’s website or app.

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