Scam of the day – April 1, 2013 – Android identity theft danger

A new strain of a malicious software that is unwittingly being downloaded by Android smart phone users is presenting a great risk of identity theft and even enabling the identity thieves to avoid authentication programs used for electronic money transfers on Android smartphones placing Android users in extreme danger.  A patch for this particular malware has still not been developed so your efforts must be focused on avoiding the malware on your own.  This new malware program is primarily being spread through a phony email that appears to come from the IRS.  It is important to remember that the IRS will never initiate communications with you by email so if you receive an email that purports to be from the IRS, you should delete it immediately.

TIPS

A good rule for keeping your computers, smart phones and other portable devices malware free is to never click on links or download anything that comes in an email unless you are absolutely sure that it is legitimate.  Even if you receive an email from a friend with a link or download, you should consider that your friend’s email may have been hacked and the email you received is not from your friend, but rather from an identity thief.  A good practice is to confirm with any friend who sends a link or download before you actually click on the link or download the file.  Even then you run the risk that your friend may unwittingly be passing on tainted malware without knowing it.  It is also important not to install apps on your Android device unless it is distributed through Google Play.  Getting apps elsewhere carries too much of a risk that the app may contain malware.  You should also make sure that the “Allow Unknown Sources” option in the security settings of your Android phone is disable so that only apps that come from Google Play can be installed on your phone.