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FBI warns of mobile banking app scams

The FBI said it expects hackers to ‘exploit’ mobile banking apps as more people use online banking during the pandemic.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning about scams targeting mobile banking apps as more Americans are using mobile devices for cashing checks and transferring money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FBI said thieves are sending emails to people saying there is an update with their mobile banking app and provide a link. When users click on the link it takes them to what looks like a real banking app, but it’s actually fake. 

“It'll take you in to your banking app, but they've overlaid that malware first,” explained FBI Special Agent Ethan Via. “So, as you’ve typed in your information, they have collected that, and now they’re off to the races into your bank accounts and causing all kinds of trouble.”

RELATED: Beware of these top scams around coronavirus and money, jobs, and health

This is happening across the county, especially with coronavirus stimulus checks and unemployment benefits being deposited. 

In 2018, U.S. security research organizations reported nearly 65,000 fake apps were detected on major app stores, “making this one of the fastest-growing sectors of smartphone-based fraud.”

Do not click on links in an email unless you are sure you know where the email came from. The FBI recommended going to your bank’s website to find a link to download the bank’s mobile app.

You can report fraud to the FBI online by clicking here.

Coronavirus: Your Money, Your Future