Skip to main content

Not-So-Merry Mobile App Scams

By December 23, 2022January 10th, 2024No Comments
Cyber attackers take advantage of consumers shopping on their tablets, smartphones and PCs over the holidays and leverage scams to steal personal information, earn quick cash, and spread malicious software, according to security vendor McAfee.
Official-looking apps for Christmas shopping, including those that feature celebrity or company endorsements, could be malicious and created to steal or send out your personal data. A recent report from McAfee identified a new family of mobile malware that allows a cyber attacker to get around the digital signature required to validate apps on Android devices
Some may download other apps to stay entertained during those long road trips to get to holiday gatherings.  These apps can be dangerous as well.  In the end, smartphone users find that innocent-looking apps were the vehicles by which criminals wirelessly swiped credit card information for fraudulent use.
mobile app scams

How it works:

Mobile apps are created with a technology known as near-field communication (NFC) encoded into the app. This lets two NFC-capable devices share data with one another; the problem is that some credit cards have built-in NFC technology.

The malicious app continues to scan for credit card information in the background, even when the phone isn’t in use. When a compromised phone is put in close proximity to a wallet, it collects credit card credentials and emails them to cybercriminals.

The cyber attackers then use this information for purchases online and even in stores that have a tap-and-go payment device. To prevent this from happening to you research the developer beforehand by verifying that its website is legitimate and reading through user reviews.

Ricky Magalhaes, Head of Offshore Security, Logicalis, says: “Consumers need to be very careful about what they download and the information they give any app they have downloaded. The apps may ask you to supply your credit card details, and may ask you to log in using Facebook which then places you at risk as you will be handing over personal information.

“Google Play and The App Store use algorithms to try to keep malware out. These apps are correctly coded so don’t get picked up by the algorithms. The companies have people trying to detect and remove fake apps but they proliferate so quickly it’s a very difficult task.”

Mobile malware is on the rise but you can still protect yourself by being smart about what actions you perform on your phone. The first line of defence against cyber threats is the user. Educate yourself by using the tips mentioned in this blog. In addition to knowledge, you can add an extra layer of protection to your phone by installing security software, which can help protect you against the endless number of threats on the mobile Internet landscape.  

Reis Informatica can help you set up all your business phones so they are protected against mobile app scams. Contact us here and make sure you schedule your Complimentary Christmas Consultation to get started.


Request Your Complimentary Consultation!