Google Chrome
Malware for Google Chrome iStock

An online scam has been discovered targeting Google Chrome browser users. It involves a fake application that looks like the original Chrome browser but is actually designed to steal credit card information.

The malware was discovered by the Malware Hunter Team and has been dubbed as 'Betaling - Google Chrome.exe'. After it takes control of a victim's computer, it displays the standard Google Chrome icon on the desktop making it difficult to differentiate between the authentic and fake Chrome application.

A URL navigation bar identical to the Chrome appears on the screen and displays the same HTTPS lock icon as the original Chrome. The browser compels users to enter their payment card information before they can start surfing the internet. This information is later collected and emailed to an AOL email ID according to Bleeping Computer.

The malware Hunter Team says the fake app is so well designed that lot of people are likely to fall for it thinking that it is the actual Google Chrome browser.

How to recognize the real Chrome?

So what can one do to not fall into the trap of this scam? The researchers say certain loopholes can help users identify whether it is a scam or an original Chrome window. For instance the fake app requires .NET Framework 4.0 or higher to be installed on a computer whereas Google Chrome has no such requirement.

Additionally Betaling's design is similar to Windows 8 Metro even though the app may be running on an older version of Windows like Windows 7. Users can also spot the fake app by checking whether it is possible to resize or minimize the browser window. The interface of this fake app for now is available in Dutch language only giving users a great hint on how to avoid it.