FBI warns of fake mobile banking apps, scammers trying to steal your money

Reporter: Rich Kolko
Mobile banking (WINK News)

Apps are nothing new, but the use of mobile banking apps is surging in popularity — up 50% just this year.

During COVID-19, a lot of banks have been closed so people have been switching to their mobile apps. But with that comes certain risks.

This week, the FBI put out a warning that cybercriminals are putting out fake apps called Trojans in an effort to steal your money.

“Bad guys create these fake apps that look like it’s from your bank to get you to download, and when you do, it’s actually harvesting your information and you may be turning over your credentials for them to log into your bank account,” said Carrie Kerskie, president of the Kerskie Group.

Getting an authentic app from the bank or the app store is the safest way to go.

“What you want to do is go to your bank and there will be a link to where you want to go. That’s the one you download,” said Kevin Munley.

If you download the fake app or Trojan, your banking information or login credentials go straight to the scammers. The experts recommend an added level of safety like two-factor authentication — that’s getting a text message or email that allows you to finish logging in to your bank’s mobile app.

That’s what Tracy Haskins does. “I do, I do. It’s set up already. My bank offered that from the get-go.”

Estimates are that 75% of Americans use some form of mobile banking app. Even when the pandemic is over, that trend is likely to continue.

If you’d like to report a scam, you can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center by clicking here.

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