Do NOT download this Android 'coronavirus safety app' – it's a scam that can steal your texts and phonebook

A SCAM encouraging people to download an app if they want a 'coronavirus safety mask' is targeting Android users.

Cyber-security experts found the dangerous website which states "Download App From Below Button And Install. You Will Get A Corona Safety Mask."

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Victims who click download will then see another button stating "GET SAFETY MASK".

You'll then be taken to a fake mask website.

Then a message saying "You infected [the mask site] with High Dose of Traffic." is said to appear.

While you're reading this message the hackers are busy gaining all your contacts from your Android phone.

Once your contacts are taken they will then receive texts trying to lure them to the site.

The scam was spotted by researchers at IT security company Zscaler.

So far the scam just seems to steal contacts but Zscaler's Shivang Desai has warned it could do much more.

He wrote in a company blogpost: "There's the threat that the malware could ask the victim to pay online for the mask and steal the credit card information, but we did not find any such functionality in the app.

"We believe the app is in its early stages and this (and other) functionalities will be added as the app is updated."

How to avoid the scam

If someone does click to install the app they will be given the chance to deny the app privileges to read contacts or send SMS messages prior to installing.

However, to really protect yourself you shouldn't be downloading Android apps from anywhere other than the official Google Play Store.

It's wise not to trust any random websites that are trying to sell you hard-to-find medical supplies.

If you're still concerned you could download a highly rated anti-virus app from the Google Play Store.

What to do if you're worried you've got coronavirus

The coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren't linked to outbreaks overseas

Symptoms of Covid-19 can include: a cough, a high temperature, difficulty breathing

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems

It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes

The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene

If you have cold-like symptoms, you should help protect others by staying home and avoiding contact with others

You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands

Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important

Meanwhile, leading symptom-checking provider to the NHS Doctorlink has been updated to help identify patients' risk of having coronavirus

Source: NHS

In other news, Microsoft has warned about a new vulnerability in all supported versions of Windows.

YouTube is limiting video quality around the entire world for a month.

And, a set of of 50 dodgy apps used by cyber crooks to hack into people's phones has been uncovered.

Have you spotted any coronavirus-related scams? Let us know in the comments…

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