Scam of the Week – Beware of phishing links on Google Chrome

May 31, 2018 2:42 pm Geraldine Strawbridge

Google Chrome users will need to be extra vigilant as fraudsters have flooded the Google Chrome Store with a series of fake ‘free movie links’, designed to con people out of money.

Google Chrome is the most widely used web browser in the world and is hugely popular due to its large assortment of apps, third-party extensions and themes that enable users to personalise their browser.

It’s deemed a safe and secure site however unknown third parties have been taking advantage of the themes section of the browser to host a series of fake updates and promote alleged ‘free movies’ links.

Each theme is associated with a recent high-profile blockbuster movie such as Avengers Infinity War, Black Panther, Fifty Shades Freed and Ready Player One. Users are invited to click on the link which will direct them to a free download of the movie.

Fake Chrome links – Source: Komando

When clicked, the links will lead users to a website called Vioos.com that offers “Full HD Online 4K” versions of the movies. This platform appears to be a legitimate streaming site, but users are quickly directed to another malicious site called “Zumastar”.

At this stage of the scam, users are then asked to create a free account to play the movie and gain access to unlimited downloads and streaming. But once again another redirection takes users through to a site called EtnaMedia.net which is a domain that has been blocked by Malwarebytes due to fraudulent activities.

Users have flagged this as a phishing and credit card scam site and some have been unlucky enough to have their credit card accounts cleared out by the fraudsters.

Although the themes themselves don’t appear to be malicious, it is the links embedded within the descriptions that are used to scam users. At the current time, Avengers Infinity war has been downloaded 1.134 times along with Black Panther 1,823 times.

To protect yourself from falling victim to these types of online scams, never click on suspicious links or download attachments from unknown sources. Criminals use these links as bait to lure victims into signing up for fraudulent accounts or as a way of installing back door Trojans to infect computers.

For further information on how to protect yourself from Phishing and Ransomware attacks, click here to find out how MetaCompliance can help.