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Mobile Frauds Of 2012, Or How They Steal Money With Our Mobile Phones


Mobile frauds appeared simultaneously with mobile communications themselves, but these days, thanks to a wide spreading of smartphones, tablets, and e-payments that particular type of cheating has reached a brand new level. The main purpose of those criminals is to steal money from your accounts, but sometimes their goals and methods may be far more sophisticated. We at made a little research regarding the most widely spread mobile frauds, that were really popular in 2012. They are social engineering and mobile viruses.

Fraud SMS

The easiest way for those fraudsters to raise money is to use SMS. If you will receive an SMS with a text: «Mom, please send a couple of bucks at +1*************, I'll explain when I'll be at home!» or something like this — you may be totally sure that someone just wants to steal your money. Another really popular strategy is to send SMS-notification about some kind of prizes you have won and to get them you will have to send SMS to a short number, or tell your credit card number.


SMS from your bank

Another quite popular way to cheat was to send SMS from the name of your bank. In that case fraudsters may even call you and notify that there were technical issues with bank's software and they ask you to tell them your credit card number so they will fix it. That data will be used for on-line shopping or evildoers may even try to withdraw money from your account.

Sometimes those criminals pretend to be a support officer. They call you and notify you that there were a reconfiguration of the network or other technical issues and you have to dial a short number so they will send a new configuration directly to your mobile device. Dialing that combination will withdraw a sensitive sum of money from your mobile account.

NFC technology

And as we've already mentioned there were two widely spread mobile threats in 2012. The second one is using modern smartphones' vulnerabilities. We are talking about viruses for mobile operation systems. They infect your phone in different ways, they can get there via MMS or over the Internet, some viruses can even spread via NFC between NFC compatible devices.


Those malicious applications send SMS to short numbers with high tariffication, gather and share personal data and may send MMS to your contact list, so their mobile device may be infected too. The apps like that are most widely spread on Android OS, its is vulnerable to viruses if the user doesn't pay much attention to app's permissions. Android is a Linux-based system, so you will have to approve all the actions of the virus by yourself and many people don't really pay attention to those permissions.

But other popular mobile OS's also have their security gaps. To be honest, iOS stays the most safe mobile OS, but that is true only if we speak about original devices that were not jailbroken. There is not that much malicious apps for Windows Phone OS, but that situation will change because it is extremely easy to port viruses from Windows 7 to a WP7 platform.

How to avoid frauds?

But there's also a way to avoid those frauds. If they try to cheat you with a simple SMS from your kids or your bank, so check their words, call the bank or your kids to make sure that it was a fraud. Mobile viruses can be detected too. You may noticed them when your battery will smart to go low faster than usual or you will notice suspicious changes at your mobile account. And make sure to shut down all the modules you do not use right now. We are talking about Bluetooth, NFC or Wi-Fi. Those can be gateways for viruses. If you are sure that your smartphone os infected – shut it down or use a cell phone jammer and get the device to specialists.

We hope that those short recommendations will help you to avoid mobile frauds in future and save some money not only on your mobile account, but on the credit card too.

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