(The Center Square) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation said online banking has increased 50% because of the COVID-19 pandemic and scammers are taking advantage.
The bureau warned against two types of scams especially: one is the creation of fake banking apps, and the other is installing “trojans,” a form of malware that can take control of your phone or tablet and then extract information from your banking app when you open it.
“The FBI issued a warning, and this is a warning that’s been issued by the Better Business Bureau as well,” Steve Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, said in a phone interview.
He said to be especially wary of any offer for a banking app that comes through an email or text.
“There’s a possibility of the scammer is getting into a bank-app set-up where you think you’re getting an email from your bank, but you’re actually getting an email from a scammer,” he said. “And you’re giving them all the information to get into your bank account.
“You’ve got to be very careful when you download apps. The best way to avoid the situation is by doing business with companies you know and trust and work directly with them not following links or text messages.”
In other words, go directly to the bank website, or at least to a reputable app store.
“Scammers always go where the money is,” Bernas said, advising due diligence so they don’t wind up with yours.
For information, visit bbb.org.