Fraudulent mobile applications
4/15/2019
Image of Phone with lock on screen in a cycle with app images with locks indicating security

According to the RSA’s First Quarter 2018 fraud report (Bleau, 2018), fraudulent transactions originating from mobile apps have increased over 600 percent during the past three years – from 5 percent in 2015 to 39 percent today.

Mobile apps have become the common way we communicate and interact with many of the financial companies customers use daily. This behavior has not gone unnoticed by cyber-criminals looking to take advantage of the unsuspecting users, which is why they have started to create fraudulent mobile apps.

Mobile apps have become the common way we communicate and interact with many of the financial companies customers use daily. This behavior has not gone unnoticed by cyber-criminals looking to take advantage of the unsuspecting users, which is why they have started to create fraudulent mobile apps. 

These fraudulent mobile apps mimic the look and feel of the legitimate apps, but often include hidden features that could expose your personal information, including user names and passwords to these criminal organizations. Here are some tips you can use to keep your device and information protected when installing applications:

• Only Install Applications from Official App Stores – Limit your application selection to only those listed on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. While it is still possible for these fraudulent applications to make it on the legitimate store fronts, those services do have rules and guidelines in place to help keep fraudulent apps out.

• Review Application Permissions – When installing applications, regardless where you find them, always review the permissions the application is requesting on your device. This might be access to your contact list, location or camera based on the application – only allow access to what you are comfortable with. These settings can be reviewed at any time from your device settings.

• Never Jailbreak or Root Your Device – Jailbreaking, or rooting, means you have removed software restrictions imposed by Apple and Android. While some may feel they are limiting what you can do, many of the restrictions are there to enhance security on your device.

 

While we will never be able to completely stop criminals from getting their applications listed on official app stores, these tips will go a long way in helping you avoid installing a fraudulent application on to your mobile device.

References: Bleau, H. (2018, May 23). RSA Report: Mobile App Fraud Transactions Increased Over 600 Percent in Three Years. Retrieved from RSA: https://www.rsa.com/en-us/blog/2018-05/rsa-fraud-report-mobile-app-fraud-transactions-increased-over-600-percent-in-three-years
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