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Police issue advisory about unsecured security app scams

Release Date: April 16, 2024


In a recent scam, cybercriminals are spreading malware by using a fake security app. They send you a text message that says a large financial transaction has just occurred using your bank account. It instructs you to call a phone number if you have not authorized the transaction. Of course, the transaction never occurred, and the cybercriminals are trying to scare you into acting impulsively.


If you dial the number, you’ll be connected to a cybercriminal who will instruct you to download a security app. The app is disguised as an official McAfee Security product and is designed to take control of your device. If you install it, cybercriminals will use it to steal your data, and they will have complete control of your phone. Once they have control of your phone, they can install other malware and access your personal information.


Follow these tips to avoid falling victim to a fake app scam:


  • Only download apps from an official source, such as the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. Apps available on official platforms are tested for security and are far less likely to be malicious.
  • If you receive an unexpected text message regarding a large transaction, contact your bank directly using the information provided on their official website. Do not communicate using the information provided in the text message.
  • Always stop and think before taking action. Scammers use scare tactics to create a sense of urgency to get you to act without thinking.


Stop, look, and think. Don’t be fooled by the scammers.

Contact Us

Kingston Police
705 Division Street
Kingston, Ontario
K7K 4C2

Telephone: 613-549-4660
TTY (hearing impaired): 613-549-8792
Administration Fax: 613-549-3111
Operations Fax: 613-549-7111

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