By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tech experts are warning consumers about possible identity theft linked to public charging stations for phones, tablets or computers. They say the charging stations could contain dangerous malware.

The scam is called “juice jacking.”

USB connections were designed to work to transfer both power and data.

Security experts say thieves have figured out a way to steal data while making it look like the device is charging.

“You don’t know what’s inside of that, you don’t know what cord they are using, there is a lot of unknowns there,” Experimax general manager Josh Barnes said. “It can copy that data automatically, keep it on its computer and someone can take that information and transfer it onto their computer.”

Experts recommend you should use an AC wall outlet to charge your device, not a USB charging station.

There is another defense — you can also use a no data transfer cable.