smart spending

Smartphone scams: Bank at your own risk

How to protect yourself
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There are steps you can take to protect yourself from a smartphone attack. Field says to avoid unsolicited text or email requests, especially of a financial nature. Instead, play it safe and call the financial institution directly. Field also says to download the mobile applications offered by your bank rather than from third parties.

"You want to go with something mother-tested and mother-approved," Field says.

When surfing the Web with a mobile phone, Hoog says people should go through their data network provider instead of a Wi-Fi hot spot. It will cost you more, but the carrier's network is more secure, he says.

If you get a text asking you go to a website, do a Google search to make sure the URL is legitimate, Hoog says.

Also, make sure your phone is password-protected, should you lose it. Many smartphones can be set up to automatically wipe all data from the phone after you make a certain amount of attempts to log in, Hoog says.

"The thing consumers have to remember," Field says, "is that schemes and scams are evolving daily, and it's a cat-and-mouse game with fraudsters."




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