"Phishing" Scams Cast Net on Mobile Banking

The next generation of “phishing” scams, focused on mobile banking, has begun, and it has the potential to do much more damage than earlier versions.

As mobile-banking applications have increased in popularity, so has the risk of downloading and installing a fraudulent app that could draw your account information and, potentially, any other data stored on your mobile device.

The trend still is in its infancy, but there already have been instances of potential fraud. In December, Google Inc. (GOOG) pulled 50 applications from its Android Market online app store in response to concerns that they may be malicious. All the apps were uploaded by the same developer and claimed to offer access to bank accounts from a wide variety of institutions, from big companies like J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), HSBC Holdings PLC, U.S. Bancorp (USB), USAA and ING Groep NV to local credit unions.

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