The US Justice Department, through the FBI, is cautioning consumers about their daily digital habits, particularly about an increase in financial crimes…
The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantines is just starting to emerge. And, it’s having ramifications that go far beyond public health. More specifically, it’s giving bad actors more room to maneuver. That unfortunately, is giving rise to hackers who are exploiting familiar systems in order to commit financial crimes.
FBI Warns Consumers About a Rise in Banking Fraud
The FBI says that 75 percent of Americans used one form or another of mobile banking in 2019. That’s approximately 243,750,000 people. Which means there’s ample opportunity to pull off financial scams. Today, mobile banking usage is roughly 50 percent higher. So, hackers are using trojans, fake banking apps, and exploiting other technologies.
Just as recently as 2018, security experts discovered nearly 65,000 fake apps readily available on mainstream app stores (like Google Play and the Apple Play Store). The United States Department of Justice, released a public service announcement through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that warns:
“Studies of US financial data indicate a 50 percent surge in mobile banking since the beginning of 2020. Additionally, studies indicate 36 percent of Americans plan to use mobile tools to conduct banking activities, and 20 percent plan to visit branch locations less often. With city, state, and local governments urging or mandating social distancing, Americans have become more willing to use mobile banking as an alternative to physically visiting branch locations. The FBI expects cyber actors to attempt to exploit new mobile banking customers using a variety of techniques, including app-based banking trojans and fake banking apps.”