Mobile threats and scams have become a rampant problem as smartphones are in the hands of every average person in this era. There are some common types of fraud committed through mobile devices that one should be aware of:

Hands using laptop and credit card

This is one of the easiest ways for scammers to steal personal data. You get a message, asking to enter your login information. This information is then used to make purchases through the app to which you revealed the information. The same login information can also be used to gain access to other apps that you use since a normal user has the same login credential across several applications.

Vishing is much like phishing and is its telephone equivalent. It involves the act of calling unsuspecting users by appearing to be a legitimate business. Scammers then extract vital information by making the victim think that they will profit. For example, a scammer might call you by pretending to be your bank and asking you for your PIN, or call you as an IRS agent asking for your tax details.

Fraudulent websites
A smartphone has a smaller screen than that of a desktop computer. Hence, it is difficult to differentiate a fraudulent website from a real one in a smartphone than on a computer. The difference in the logo, quality, and display of the website is un-noticeable in a smaller screen. The use of phony websites and information tampering using fraudulent websites are thus more common on a smartphone.

Subscription fraud
Fraudulent users gain access to a person’s information and use it to sign up for an expensive subscription. This kind of fraud falls among the most common mobile fraud.

Stolen devices
If your smartphone gets stolen, fraudulent users can use the device to make purchases through apps.

SMS Fraud
This kind of fraud usually involves sending SMS on behalf of a user, without his/her knowledge. The SMS is sent to make a purchase, which the user is unaware of. The payments received by the purchase then benefits the fraudulent user.

Phantom apps
Fake apps of well-known companies can also prove to be a big scam that lures users to pay fraudsters unknowingly. For example, a phony version of Google Wallet was released in 2014, that tricked users to paying money for cheap cars.

Drive-by downloads
The malware installed into your phone without your consent is referred to as drive-by downloads. Visiting the wrong website can generally trigger these drive-by downloads to be installed in your mobile device and causing harm later.

Viruses and Trojans
Viruses and Trojans attack your mobile devices by attaching themselves to legitimate programs and later hijacking your smartphone system. Viruses and Trojans can also send premium, costly, text messages.

Network spoofs
Network spoofs are fake access points set up by hackers to look like Wi-Fi networks. They are set up in high traffic locations with names like “Free Wi-Fi” or “Coffeehouse Wi-Fi” to lure users into creating accounts to log in. Most people generally use the same login credentials to log in to several places. The same username and password obtained from this account are used to gain access to the duped user’s email and banking details.