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As mobile banking adoption increases, so does the risk of fraud.  Compared to other types of fraud, the risk of mobile fraud is still comparatively low; however, we encourage you to stay informed about fraud risks as they develop.  Here’s a little bit about the most common mobile threats.

 

Mobile Hacking
Mobile hacking is still a fairly uncommon crime, however, if you are targeted, fraudsters could potentially record your keystrokes, control your apps or steal your information.  To protect yourself, don’t connect to unknown wi-fi networks, don’t download unknown apps, and don’t click on links via text or email if they seem suspicious or are from unknown people.

 

Mobile Malware
Although this is possible, it’s not probable at this point.  Experts do warn that mobile malware attacks are on the rise and will continue to increase in the coming years as users move more toward the concept of a mobile wallet.  However, for now; the technology is very new and fraud attempts are very low compared to the more common malware attacks on your desktop or laptop computer.

 

Text Messaging
The risk of text banking involves sending secure information over a very lightly secured wireless channel.  Companies typically caution consumers to minimize what they share via text; however, users often still send account numbers and personal information.  We recommend that you opt for a more secure mobile banking channel like a native application that you download to your phone, like the one we offer.  Search for your financial institution’s app at an official app store like the Apple App store or the Android Marketplace.

 

Fraudulent Applications
Fraudulent applications must be downloaded to infect your phone.  Often these downloadable apps claim to offer additional security for your phone or offer a protected login to other accounts.  Lower the risk of downloading fraudulent apps by shopping at official app stores like the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace.

 

Theft
The most realistic and common threat right now is that your phone is physically stolen.  You can start by protecting your phone with a password.  It’s not foolproof, but it is a deterrent.  Second, most smart phones offer remote access.  Your phone provider should be able to tell you if your device offers GPS.  If you can’t find your phone, you may be able to track it from a computer or another device to see its location.  You can also ask your phone provider to see if you can remotely erase your phone.  In the event your phone has been permanently lost or stolen, you may be able to remotely clear your phone’s contents.

 

Most importantly, don’t store any personal information on your phone like passwords or social security numbers.  If you do use your phone for private data, consider a password and data vault app, like Secure Wallet,  eWallet or Google Wallet, to safely house your secure data.  Again, lower risks by only downloading apps from official app stores like the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace.

 

Don’t underestimate the importance of strong, unique and varied passwords.  Using the same password on your financial apps that you use on your more common apps could make login information easily accessible by a fraudster.

 

Protect Yourself
As always, we encourage you to stay informed about current scams.  We regularly post scam alerts and risk associated with banking so stay tuned.

 

If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud or your account has been compromised, immediately call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.  We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions.