Free wifi is a great perk, especially when traveling. But make sure you’re not getting more than you bargained for.

Who Is It Targeting: Travelers

What Is It: A phony wifi hotspot that steals your information

What Are They After: There are countless ways someone can steal your money, your information, or both while you’re traveling. In this particular scam, hackers set up a phony public wifi hotspot in order to connect to your device and steal your data while you happily use the internet. Some forms of the scam include a popup box that requests a small amount of money for connecting, but this is just an attempt to steal your credit card information.

In the slightly more sophisticated version, hackers can steal everything you do while you’re connected, including personal data, account logins, passwords, and more.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • If you can avoid public wifi, it’s safer to save your web traffic for your home network or your cellular connection.
  • Use a VPN to prevent others from seeing what you do online.
  • If you must use public wifi connections, avoid sensitive activity like banking or password-protected account use.

Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from BBB.org.


If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530.