Mobile app fraud soars 600% since 2015

Mobile apps were the source of 39% of online fraudulent transactions in the first quarter of 2018, up from 5% in 2015, according to a study by RSA, which attributed the crime surge to a greater digitization of banking and other consumer services and vulnerabilities in mobile apps.

Fraudsters are increasingly using social media to share information, advertise their services and create virtual stores to sell stolen data; fraud by mobile app surged 50% in 2017, while 65% of fraudulent online transactions in Q1 used a mobile application or browser.

About 5% of fraud attacks originate from a rogue app, many of which are found in reputable app stores. Consumers are urged not to assume all verified apps are legitimate, and pay particular attention to the source and the permissions requested by the app.

RSA warns that organizations have become overly fixated on customer experience and should instead refocus on strengthening their cybersecurity capabilities, advising that social media is the new dark web and should be monitored – either internally or by hiring specialist agencies – for fraud threats to their business.

Phishing accounted for 48% of all cyberattacks observed by RSA, with North America, Brazil and India the main targets for criminals, while financial malware was the source of 25% of fraud attempts.

RSA recommends consumers to be wary of responding to any unexpected emails, texts or phone calls that claim to be from a legitimate organization. The same goes for clicking on anything online, be it videos, adverts, offers or social media posts.

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