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Mobile Apps: Safety First!

Mobile apps—like those used to pay people, invest, place bets, and shop—can make life easier but can also be a way for criminals to steal your money and personal information. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers lost more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023, a 14% increase over the prior year. Use your apps wisely to avoid getting caught in a scammer’s trap.

Remember that scammers are always up to something.

Keep an eye out for fake apps from unreliable sources. These may look like the real deal. The best way to avoid them? Stick to sanctioned app providers like the Apple Store or Google Play.

Secure your accounts held in apps.

Don’t make it easy for scammers to steal your information.

  1. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). When you or someone else logs into your account, you’ll receive an alert on your device. If it isn’t you, you can block entry.
  2. Create strong passwords that are unique to each app. Keeping track of them all can be tricky, so consider using a password manager app. Make sure you choose one that’s trustworthy! Free password managers are available, but paid services may offer more features and greater security.
  3. Keep your apps and software updated. The new versions often include fixes for security issues.

Keep your personal info close to the vest.

Don’t overshare, and check your privacy settings. Scammers can use details about your life to guess the answers to your security questions or impersonate you.

Beware investment apps that promise easy money.

Before sharing your payment or account information with an investment app that promises easy money, do some thorough research. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t fall victim to pressure. If someone is rushing you to decide, take a step back. If you’re not paying for the product, you probably are the product. Your email address, phone number, and other information you share on free apps can be collected and sold for profit. Be thoughtful about what you share, and where you share it.

The bottom line: Mobile apps can be handy, but be smart and always proceed with caution. Know the common scams, secure your accounts, double-check requests for info, and play it safe when sharing information online. If you stay vigilant, you can enjoy all the benefits of these digital tools and avoid getting scammed. If you do get scammed, let us know quickly so we can help minimize the impact. We’re on your side, and will do what we can to keep you and your accounts secure.