How do I know if my mobile phone has been hacked?

Can’t charge your phone? Is it flooded with pop-up ads? These are just some of the signs that your phone may be at risk.

CHARLOTTE, NC — Cell phones are no longer just portable phones; they are portable computers that most people use to run just about every aspect of their personal lives. But that makes them a target for cyber criminals.

There’s even a chance that a person’s phone is being compromised right now, and they don’t know about it.

What most people would write off as technical difficulties could be a signal of something sinister. Senior security solutions manager at Lookout Hank Schless said there are five key signs that someone’s phone may have been hacked.

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If a phone is warm to the touch, it is possible for cyber criminals to transfer data from a person’s device to a remote server. By transferring data, a phone works non-stop and heats up in the process.

Random apps appear out of nowhere

If hackers are in control of a phone, they can install apps remotely to track and monitor activities. Lookout advises people to check and remove any suspicious or unknown app.

Poor battery performance

Unwanted apps can quickly drain your phone’s battery.

Performance issues

Malware can slow down your phone’s processor causing dropped calls, undelivered texts, screen freezes and crashes.

Consistent popups

Constant pop-up ads, home screen updates and bookmarks to unknown websites are signs of malicious adware.

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For those who think their phone has been hacked, there are numerous apps designed to help detect the culprit. Experts advise people to check their bank and credit card statements for signs of fraudulent activity so that you can report the breach right away.

Tip to avoid falling victim to scams

  • emotional attractionAny pitch that stirs your emotion will hinder your rational judgment.
  • Sense of urgencyYou MUST act now, or else.
  • Request for unorthodox paymentGift cards, prepaid credit cards, bank transfers, etc.
  • Statements that are incorrectIf your new “landlord” can’t show you the inside of the house, it may be because he doesn’t own it.
  • You won, you pay nowpIt’s not a price if you have to pay for it. Taxes, fees, shipping, whatever.
  • Too good to be trueThat’s because it isn’t true. Sorry, your long-lost relative didn’t die, leaving you millions. That car you bought online for a third party Kelly Blue Book Value doesn’t really exist. The son of a billionaire diamond broker didn’t “swipe right” on you and instantly fell in love. That work-from-home job that pays you hundreds of dollars an hour for stuffing envelopes isn’t real.

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WCNC Charlotte always asks “where’s the money?” If you need any help, please contact WCNC Charlotte by emailing [email protected].

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