With advancements in technology comes with its very own consequences mostly positive but unfortunately also negative. Technology is one of the ways thieves and scammers have established a platform to take advantage of unknowing and uninformed Android users. But don’t worry, here is a number of ways you can avoid being a victim of a knowledgeable scammers on Android.

Phishing scams via text messages

Phishing scams are just really well thought out messages meant to entice users to readily provide their personal information. This usually includes financial information, personal addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers among other personal information.

A phishing scam sent via a text message is basically deceiving message sent to users purporting to be from a legitimate institution such as a bank, insurance company, government agency or even a popular consumer brand. Rather than immediately asking for your personal information, they first attempt to gain your confidence and then later on, you’ll usually be redirected.

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One of the lies that is common in text phishing scams, is when a scammer informs you that your bank account has been stolen and that verification is needed. You will then be prompted to enter your bank account details, personal data or even your PIN. By inputting the information, you have basically given them access to your bank account details to do with as they wish.

The only to avoid being a victim to such a scam is never trusting any messages from unknown sources, especially the ones asking for personal or financial details. If you need to confirm if a message is from who they say they are, for instance a bank, just make a phone call to the official institution to confirm.

Look-alike apps

There are a ton of look-alike apps that have been created by cyber scammers, to give you the feel and the benefits of the actual apps but really aren’t. This apps are essentially malware that steal your personal or financial data, use the permissions you give them access to, such as locations and contacts, to track and subsequently communicate with them and scam them as well. This however is not the case with just APKs but can also be apps available on the Google Play Store.

To avoid being tricked in this kind of way, ensure that when you are downloading an APK, it’s only from reliable sources. As for apps on the Google Play Store, check the app’s permissions and know that not all reviews are to be trusted.

Another tip, ensure that the updates you download are only from the official app you have installed on your Android device and not from any outside sources.

Tech support scam

Tech support scams are everywhere and they’ve been around for a while. How it works is that a person claiming to be a tech support from a service you are using or even from a device manufacturer, calls you with an intention to gain personal information.

One of the major tech support scams is the one dubbed the ‘ransomware’. A tech support representative calls to tell you that a virus has infected your device and that the only way they can help you is if you paid for the service first. They then try to convince you that the purchase can be made via a fake site or as an alternative, ask you to provide your credit card details.

In this kind of scenario what you should do is simply hang up the phone call and call your service provider using the number provided on their official website. Note that in case your device is actually compromised, the legitimate device manufacturer or provider wouldn’t try to solve the issue using that device.

Repair store scam

When our Android devices are plagued with issues that a factory reset can’t resolve, we usually turn to repair stores to help. However, note that all Android stores are different, from their owners and staff. While some have professional and trustworthy employees, others are made up of thieves. There is always a risk of your data being stolen and even your hardware being swapped with one that is worse.

One particularly common violation in terms of data privacy is when a repair store breaks into your device without your consent. Know that even if you take your device to be repaired of broken screen or even a battery issue, they are still likely to get into your phone.

Whenever you need a phone repair, take caution and shop around before you settle for one. On the other hand, be sure to scrub your Android phone of all the data, before you entrust it with any establishment

What other scams do you know of and how can they be avoided? Let us know in the comments.

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What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool

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