Every so often, a new piece of non-existent software gets advertised by scammers that are eager to part users with their hard earned cash.
The latest one to be spotted is called SMS Privato Spy, which supposedly allows the buyer to spy on people’s activity on their mobile phones (viewing the screen, listening to conversations, viewing call logs, tracking them via GPS) by simply sending the target a specifically crafted SMS.
With scams such as these, the crooks’ success is dependent on how attractive and, above all, credible and legitimate they make the offer sound. And in this case, they went all out.
Apart from a very professional-looking page offering the software, they also provided a video on the site that supposedly shows a legitimate company reviewing it:
But, in fact, the video interview was made to review a legitimate piece of software that has nothing to do with SMS Privato Spy, and the guy who was interviewed says that the same video has been misused by scammers before, that the company has been on the receiving end of many angry phone calls because of this, but that there is very little they can do to make the scammers stop.
But, returning to the scam at hand – “If a victim follows the instructions on the site they will obtain a voucher pin code from an online payment site for the payment amount,” Symantec researchers explain. “Once they use this payment pin code to register and purchase the product on the site, they are presented with the message below telling them that their order is being processed.”
And that’s the last information they are given – they will not be contacted (as promised) within 24 hours. In the meantime, the scammers will use the unprocessed payment voucher pin code for things like purchasing points/currency in popular games – effectively laundering the money.