Why travellers shouldn’t charge phones at public USB outlets in airports and restaurants


TRAVELLING these days is already a  logistical nightmare, thanks to masks, Covid tests, vaccination passport and quarantine. 

Now you’ve got another thing to worry about – how to charge your phone when the battery goes flat. 

Using public USB charging stations could leave you open to  a scam

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Using public USB charging stations could leave you open to a scamCredit: Getty

Because phone users are being warned against using public USB charging stations at places like airports and restaurants. 

According to Travel And Leisure, travellers are being targeting with a scam called ‘juice jacking,’ where hackers drain information from your phone while you use a public USB charger. 

A warning from the LA District Attorney’s Office said of the scam: “Criminals load malware onto charging stations or cables they leave plugged in at the stations so they may infect the phones and other electronic devices of unsuspecting users.

“The malware may lock the device or export data and passwords directly to the scammer.”

Travellers are being targeting with a scam called ‘juice jacking,’ where hackers drain information from your phone

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Travellers are being targeting with a scam called ‘juice jacking,’ where hackers drain information from your phoneCredit: Getty

Phone users are instead encouraged to use a power outlet with a proper plug, or buy a portable charger.

Travellers have also been warned against borrowing phone chargers from front desk when staying at hotels. 

This is because you don’t know where the charger has come from and whether it’s good quality – and knock off chargers can ruin the batteries in your phone.

Brad Nichols, a repair technician for Staymobile, told Readers Digest: “Cheaper chargers don’t necessarily have the standards in place to fill your phone constantly with the correct voltage.

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“The fluctuation of voltage can damage the charger port, and even damage your battery.”

But it’s not the only issue with hotel phone chargers.Dodgy phone chargers have also been blamed for house fires, with some even blowing up during use.

Some travellers have suggested that if you attach your keys to your charger, you will never forget it.

We’ve also revealed some sneaky airport tricks to make life easier.





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