But beware of cyber criminals who want to lure you into feeling comfortable and confident in divulging information that could ruin you financially.
These online villains have developed fake mobile banking applications in an attempt to steal your private information.
Such applications are usually promoted on a third party site, and there is often a charge for downloading the application, which is not the case with legitimate apps for banks and credit unions.
Another scam is SMShing, which is phishing that happens via SMS text message. A criminal sends a text message to trick you into replying with financial or personal information, or tries to get you to click on links that will sneak viruses onto your mobile device.
Never respond to a text message that requests personal or financial information, and verify the phone numbers that appear in a text message.
Fraud is Increasing at Alarming Rates
Credit and debit card fraud continues to increase at alarming rates. Experts advise you take the following steps to help deter a potential breach of your bank accounts:
- Check your monthly statements and report any unauthorized transactions immediately.
- Shred all documents that contain financial or personal information.
- If available, set up alerts to notify you of large transactions, online or phone authorizations, and multiple charges by a specific merchant.
- Be suspicious of all links, even if you know the person who is sending it to you.
- Never assume that a message is legitimate because it comes from a company you know, or contains personal information such as your street address, phone number or other information you may have posted on social networking sites.
- Never give out personal or financial information unless you have initiated the contact.
- Typically a message that implies urgency is an attempt to gain information and detract you from taking the time to carefully examine the message and its sender.
Giving the time and attention necessary to being proactive about protecting your valuable assets, could end up saving you the “Blood, Sweat & Tears” of identify theft.