Banking apps have made it more convenient for customers to pay bills, check, and transfer money. If the app you signed up for isn’t secured (of if you somehow downloaded a fake app), opportunists could find a way to get their hands on your savings and your private information. Just last year, there have been a total of 2,912 reports that involve scamming incidents done through mobile apps, making for a slight increase from the previous year.
Scammers use a variety of methods to compromise your banking experience. Back in 2018, fake banking apps that were available on the Google Play Store affected thousands of customers who have downloaded it, not knowing its legitimacy. The malicious apps phished for credit card details and log-in credentials, deceiving some unsuspecting Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Bank customers. These apps went undetected in the Play Store for weeks before they were taken down.
You may also be exposed to identity theft if scammers have access to your personal information. This can happen through:
- Phishing emails and text messages,
- Fake online quizzes and surveys and,
- Direct requests for scans of your driver’s license or passport.
Even though these scams aren’t directly linked to your bank, you should immediately contact them if you feel your personal information has been compromised to avoid any scammer access to your funds.
Scammers will always find loopholes to scam you out of your money. To avoid this, protect yourself with these best practices:
- Establish safe network connections and protect your financial accounts
- Never use your banking app when connected to unsecured WiFi networks. Likewise, if you’re using a browser, make sure that the site is secured and using https://.
- Don’t respond to suspicious emails, calls, or texts, especially if they’re asking for private information, which could lead to phishing scams.
- Always remember to use strong passwords and 2-factor authentication (2FA).
- Secure your mobile banking applications
- Download banking apps that are from legitimate sources. Verify if the app you’re about to download is your bank’s official app.
- Once you have downloaded the app, install updates when they become available. App providers usually fix bugs and add security features to keep your account more protected.
- Enable built-in security features found in your banking apps. These include 2FA, time-outs (which logs the account after a period of inactivity), or verification steps after failing to successfully log in.
- Install mobile security software like Trend Micro Mobile Security to safeguard your mobile devices against apps that steal personal information.