Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Information Technology Services

Beware of USB Charger Scam

Beware USB Charger Scam

With Thanksgiving approaching, we wanted to remind you to be extra cautious online and while traveling over the holidays, as criminals are very active during this time of year.

Think twice before charging your phone at the airport, bus station, or other travel location this holiday season. If your phone battery is dying, and you suddenly see a “public” charger plugged into an outlet, you might think you’ve hit the jackpot. However, it could be a new type of cyber attack known as “juice jacking.” 

With juice jacking, criminals infect USB charging cables with malware that allows them to access your phone and data, including passwords and any shopping and banking accounts you access from your phone.

Protect your devices:

  1. Only use  your own portable chargers and charging cables (from reputable vendors).
  2. Only charge your devices directly from an electrical outlet.
  3. Use a USB data blocker on USB outlets in public places (available cheaply on Amazon).

Have a happy and scam-free holiday season!


Learn more about "juice jacking" (New York Times)

View Travel Security Tips

Protect yourself from Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams (CNBC)