2019-02-04

Google maps used to steal money. The criminals offered the delivery of alcohol

The Google Maps application, which has become the main navigation for many people, can also be used to steal money. Interestingly, the criminals used photos and one of the functions to mislead uninformed users who just wanted to drink alcohol.

Thousands of crafted photos on Google Maps

The Android Police website points out the matter, citing the discovery of one of the Twitter users. The alcohol stores in India, which are visible on Google Maps, have been flooded with photos of phone numbers. However, these were not photos uploaded by store employees or trusted Local Guides (people adding materials, including photos, on Google Maps).

The given numbers did not belong to the store. With their use it was possible to contact only criminals who, posing as a shop, offered to deliver alcohol to their home.

The victim, after contacting the criminals (eg by the WhatsApp communicator), received a service pricelist asking for an advance payment that could be made through the Paytm payment system or by providing credit card details. Of course, after making the payment, money disappeared from the unconscious customer’s account, and the delivery of alcohol was not. The victims included a senior Indian citizen who lost all his savings. The exact scale and effects of criminals are not yet known.

About 40,000 have appeared on Google Maps servers. forged images that were sent from six profiles. Each had an individual telephone number. What’s more, criminal profiles have been used to put hundreds of positive opinions about alcohol supply.

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Google: we try to fight cheaters

Google spoke about the new method of fraud, although we did not learn anything specific. Google has indicated that it is trying to prevent spam and inappropriate content from being added to Google Maps. For this purpose, both automatic and manual systems are used to help maintain high quality content provided by the users of the application. In addition, the company takes all reports of fraud in navigation and other products very seriously.

Take special care with Google’s navigation. The official store with Android applications is used to distribute applications of dubious quality. Some of the navigations have been created to make money on ads in the first place. It is worth noting here that criminals using such applications can gain access to the current location of the victim.

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