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dfndr lab Discovery: McDonald’s Phishing Scam

Our threat team has encountered a tricky phishing scam that targets patrons of McDonald’s restaurants, a nationwide food chain. Learn more about these scams and what to avoid.

Most American families rely on great deals when eating out, but beware of fake phishing coupons that lure you in. Recently, our dfndr lab encountered hackers using the McDonald’s restaurant brand by spoofing their website and offering a phony gift certificate. The attack hit Android users via navigation and incentivized ads. To ensure you never get fooled and download vicious malware onto your device, use the anti-hacking feature to block suspect links:

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The anti-hacking feature blocks phishing attempts during any online navigation. Turning this feature on is a vital step to prevent cyber-thieves from stealing your personal and financial information.

Read More: Wells Fargo Customers Targeted By Hackers

In the case of the McDonald’s phishing scam, a cleverly designed link appeared when a user was surfing, promising a $50.00 gift certificate. All the user had to do was complete a legitimate looking quiz on their dining habits.

The hackers then had users input their personal information — in this case —  an email address, to redeem the gift certificate. But in truth, there was no true certificate to redeem, only an infected link.

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This spoofed site was sophisticated, even mimicking fake comments like an authentic site would normally have.

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With the anti-hacking feature turned on, your phone is thoroughly protected and the link is caught before your information is compromised.

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This is the staggering number of phishing attacks our team caught:

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While our anti-hacking feature helps protect against hacking attempts and watches over the system of your phone, what else can you do to keep these scams away from your phone’s personal data?

Emilio Simoni, manager of the dfndr lab, has a few tips for consumers. He recommends, “This kind of phishing is usually spread by paid advertisements, especially in fake service pages that redirect users to the phony page. Always check the URL of a promotion or offer. The first clue is the site domain. Hackers always use non-conventional domains like .club, .tk, .pro, or .ml, when official pages use .com. When it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

Another tip to keep in mind is to remember that promotions are usually inside a brand’s official page, in this case, 
www.mcdonalds.com.

Phishing scams have evolved and become more sophisticated. They aren’t just restricted to phony emails from your bank. Today these attacks show up as ad promotions, contests, or e-coupons.

The best ways to secure your device is to arm yourself with knowledge and always keep the dfndr anti-hacking feature on.

PSafe continues to drive innovative ways to protect your Android device. Our engineers and threat team remain vigilant about keeping your connected experiences safe.


New to dfndr? We’ve been rated 6.0 by AV-Test as one of the top antivirus Android apps. Find our products in the Google Play Store.

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