Smartphone scams: Bank at your own risk
Just like the Internet, a longtime platform for scams, smartphones are becoming similarly susceptible to attacks. While many people are trained to be wary of unsolicited emails, people tend to have their guard down when it comes to text messages and phone calls, says Mark Kanok, senior product manager at Symantec, a security software company in Mountain View, Calif.
"It's surprising that people are more trusting when they hear a live voice even though they are asking for fairly sensitive information in an unsolicited fashion," says Kanok. That trust exposes people to scams, including a mobile phishing attack called "smishing."
In this scam, a smartphone user will receive a text or phone call from what appears to be a bank or other company, urging the user to call a phone number or visit a website. Once the call is placed or the target visits the website, he or she will be asked to give sensitive information. With that information, the scammer can open up credit cards and bank accounts, wreaking havoc on the victim's identity and financial standing, Kanok says.