Beware ‘fake’ coronavirus update apps

PUBLISHED: 09:59 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:59 01 April 2020

Suffolk Trading Standards has issued a warning over 'fake' apps. Picture: YUI MOK/PA WIRE/PA IMAGES

Suffolk Trading Standards has issued a warning over 'fake' apps. Picture: YUI MOK/PA WIRE/PA IMAGES

PA Wire/PA Images

A warning has been issued following reports of “fake apps” that are claiming to provide updates on coronavirus.

Suffolk Trading Standards has urged people to “beware of fake apps” after police warned of “heartless criminals” looking to exploit the vulnerable during the continuing coronavirus crisis.

A post on the Suffolk Trading Standards Facebook page said: “There are reports of several ‘coronavirus update’ apps, which claim to provide updates on the virus.

“The fake app contains a form of ‘ransomware’, named CovidLock, which upon downloading, locks the phone and displays a message demanding that the user pay a sum of money to unlock it.

“These apps are available to download from various unofficial websites.

“Phone users are advised to only download apps directly from the Apple Store, or Android Play Store as these are safety checked by the platforms.

“For trusted news and advice on Covid-19 coronavirus, check for updates from the Department of Health and Social Care in the UK, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation (WHO).”

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