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How to outsmart scammers who target your smartphone

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

How to outsmart scammers who target your smartphone

CREATED Nov 29, 2012

Reporter: Craig Smith

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - You can use a smartphone to reach so many things in this world -- trouble is, bad people in this world can use your smartphone to reach you.

Maybe you've already received a text with an offer that seemed too good to be true. So here's the familiar advice that people still fail to follow: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Imagine this -- your phone beeps in the middle of the night with a text alert saying you've won a $1,000 gift card if you just follow these links. What do you do? 

9 On Your Side followed the links only to discover that the site makes no attempt to verify your email and phone number -- probably because you'll never get the gift anyway.

As a condition of the gift, the site wants you to buy other items, or at least enter a lot of personal information.

Nick LaFleur of the Better Business Bureau said some messages like this want to plant viruses that will just steal your information.

"A lot of times they'll download viruses that will track the location of your smartphone," LaFleur said. "They'll log everything that you do on it. If you do any banking on your smartphone, they'll be going after that stuff."