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Ahead of holidays, police issue warning about public charging stations

Cell phone charging

CARMEL, Calif. (KION) Ahead of the holiday season, Carmel police are warning members of the community about "juice jacking."

Police said USB charging stations in public places, like airports and malls, could be full of malware, so criminals could steal money and identities. They said in as little as a minute, a virus can be transferred to a device that exports data and passwords to criminals.

Juice jacking is done with a computer hidden in the charging kiosk or cables left plugged in. The computer automatically pairs with phones and other devices when they are plugged in, according to police. When that happens, criminals get access to information on the device, including passwords, emails, address books, photos and text messages.

Police said travelers and shoppers should not using public USB charging stations to avoid becoming victims of juice jackers. They also suggest using touch or face ID.

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Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.


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