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Smartphone scams: Bank at your own risk

Smartphone apps have hidden dangers
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With the adoption of smartphones came the emergence of applications that people can download to their smartphones. Most of these apps are legitimate, but some apps are fake, designed to steal information or use the phone to fraudulently make money, says Tom Field, editorial director for the publisher Information Security Media Group, based in Princeton, N.J.

In one scheme, fraudsters created a mobile banking app that appears legitimate but is a device designed to capture sensitive banking data. In another, Kanok says the smartphone user can be tricked into downloading what he or she thinks is an app but is really software that sits in the background of the phone sending out text messages to a premium rate telephone number.

At the end of the month, unexpected phone charges show up on the phone bill. It's similar to a TV show where you are charged to text in your vote for a particular contestant. Here, you don't know you are making phone calls or how many times, and the person who set up the phone number walks away with the money, says Kanok.


 

 

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