Prevent Mobile Device Fraud This Cyber Security Awareness Month
Every year, rates of fraud continue to rise. While that fact doesn’t seem to change, the methods criminals use to commit fraud constantly evolve with the changing of technology. Consequently, consumers must stay informed about different scams to keep their private information protected.
“It’s critical to exercise caution on any app or website where you make or receive payments,” said Jeremy Bristow, Senior Operations Officer at United Bank & Trust. “There are many things you can do to protect yourself but if you let your guard down, you can easily become a victim.”
How to Protect Yourself
Mobile devices provide convenience and have become something many of us rely upon daily. Cybercriminals have also seized this convenience to commit fraud. Consider the following tips to protect your devices.
- Watch for phishing attacks. Cybercriminals will try to steal your personal information to gain access to your accounts through phishing emails and text messages. Be suspicious of any communication requesting you to provide personal information, especially if the communication attempts to induce panic or threaten you into making a hasty decision.
- Avoid links and attachments. Clicking on links and attachments in phishing emails and text messages may cause you to unknowingly download malware onto your device, which could give cybercriminals access to your device and accounts. If you receive an email and are unsure if it is legitimate, contact the company the message claims to be representing and verify the message’s authenticity.
- Keep personal information private. Never share personal or account information with someone online or over the phone.
- Keep your mobile device updated. The operating systems on mobile devices are regularly updated to provide new features that keep your device secure. Cybercriminals will target devices using old operating systems that aren’t well protected.
- Be cautious using payment apps. Before you send a payment to anyone through a payment app like Venmo or PayPal, confirm you have their correct account information.
- Watch your accounts. Check accounts frequently for transactions you don’t recognize. If you see any unfamiliar transactions, report them to your bank immediately.
- Change your passwords. Update the passwords on your online accounts and activate two-factor authentication to give your accounts an added layer of protection.
- Check your credit report. It’s good practice to check your credit report at least once a year to make sure everything is accurate. You can obtain your free credit report at annualcreditreport.com.
If you believe your United Bank & Trust account may have been compromised in a fraud attempt, contact us immediately at (641) 753-5900.