App scams on the rise as mobile shopping increases

Smart phones now ‘big business’ for online criminals. With the rampant increase of these devices around the globe, Mobile applicationsfraudsters have taken control of phones and run up huge bills for victims using rogue mobile applications.

Mobile malware is rapidly increasing at a high rate. Smart phone users are getting a nasty surprise when they see their monthly bills, discovering that they have run up huge phone bills for premium-rate text messages they did not send.

This is one of the latest scams being used by online criminals to profit from the recent boom in smart phones and mobile web applications (apps), experts at GetSafeOnline.org are warning today.

The latest research from Get Safe Online shows that 17% of smart phone users now use their phone for money matters and this doesn’t escape the notice of criminals. This is especially true in Africa with the wide spread of mobile money technology an eCommerce. So while accessing the web, mobile banking and other services via a mobile device can be fun and save time, it’s important to be vigilant.

Shopping from the comfort of your couch on your phone or tablet makes Christmas shopping easier, but if a deal on an app seems too good to be true, you may want to take a second look. Mobile shopping hit record numbers during the Black friday, while the Cyber Monday 2016 was the largest yet. This trend makes it a feeding frenzy time for cyber crime as well as just hackers as they get so much prey at their disposal.

Once a user downloads a rogue app, they enable the fraudsters to take control of the victim’s phone, allowing them to make calls, send and intercept SMS and voicemail messages, and browse and download online content. This enables them to gain access to all personal and payment data available on the phone – which can then be sold onto and used by identity fraudsters – and to ‘spam’ other mobile web users to commit further fraud.

Rogue application disguise themselves as save application on the legitimate stores. It is hence important that users remain vigilant an critically analyze ratings and review developer information before downloading an application.

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