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Mobile Fraud - Small Business Security Center

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Types of Mobile Fraud

Rogue Mobile Banking Apps

Criminals may repackage and publish third party malicious apps that look like Bank of the West's mobile banking apps. Once downloaded the fraudulent app may implant a Trojan on your phone to steal your Business Online Banking credentials.

Only download the Bank of the West Mobile app from trusted sources such as the Apple App Store rather than a third-party unknown source. To help protect your accounts and information, don't download or install mobile banking apps if you detect any of the following warning signs:

  • The developer or author of the application is not Bank of the West
  • The application is being promoted on a third party site, outside of the official app store associated with your mobile device
  • There is a charge for downloading the application

Mobile Malware

Just like computer malware, mobile malware is malicious software that is installed on your smartphone with the intent to steal sensitive information and data stored on your phone. More sophisticated mobile malware is expected to surge as cyber criminals catch up with the latest mobile technologies.

One of the main ways that the malware can access your phone is through the Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth. Because the smartphone can easily be connected to wireless networks this can make it easier to download the malware. Only use secure and trusted Wi-Fi networks and only accept Bluetooth connections from people whom you know and keep Bluetooth switched off when you aren't using it.


SMiShing is a form of criminal activity via cell phone messages to deliver the "bait" to get you to divulge your personal information. Criminal may pose as your FI and use SMS in an attempt to gain access to confidential account information.

A typical scam informs the victim through a SMS message that his/her account was compromised or his/her ATM card was deactivated. The victim is directed to call a phone number or visit a spoofed website to reactivate the card. Once at the website or through an automated phone system, the victim is asked to provide his/her card, PIN and /or account numbers.

Don't respond to text messages that request personal or financial information. Bank of the West will never ask you to respond in this way. Verify the phone number (s) that appears in the message. Store Bank of the West phone numbers and SMS short code in your contacts for future reference.

Lost or Stolen Devices

Mobile phones and tablets offer convenience, but they're also easy to lose or steal, which can put your information at risk.

  • Password-protect your device so it can't be accessed unless the Password is entered.
  • Enable an automatic screen-locking mechanism to lock the device when it's not actively being used.
  • Consider using a remote wipe program, this will give you the ability to send a command to your device that will delete any data if the device is lost or stolen.
  • Keep a record of the device's make, model and serial number in case it's stolen

If you lose your mobile device or change your mobile phone number, delete the old number from your Bank of the West Preference Center or contact the Bank of the West Contact Center at 1-800-488-2265 (option 3)

Mobile Security Tips

  • Use your device's power-on password feature and keep it locked when you're not using it. Enable an automatic screen-locking mechanism to lock the device when it's not actively being used.
  • Never store personal information like passwords or PIN numbers in texts, notes or emails that are accessible through your phone or tablet.
  • Add Bank of the West's short code BKWST (25978) to your device's contact list with a distinctive name, so that you will recognize incoming messages are from us and not spoofed.
  • Install anti-malware protection for your smart phone, tablet, e-reader or any other device that has mobile access to the internet. This software should scan the device, identify and remove malware, plus check applications for malware before downloading them from application stores.
  • Do not root or jailbreak your mobile device to get around limitations set by your carrier or device manufacturer. It will remove any protections built into the device to defend against mobile threats.
  • Beware of everything you download onto your smart device, especially applications. Only use reputable application markets. Look at the developer's name, check out reviews and star ratings. Always check the permissions an application requests and ensure that the permissions of the application match the features the application provides.
  • If you visit a website through your mobile or tablet and the URL looks suspicious, close it down right away.
  • When in doubt, don't respond. Fraudulent texts, calls and voicemails are on the rise. Just like email, requests for personal information or a call for immediate action are almost always a scam.
  • Use account nicknames instead of account numbers. Do not include any digits from your account numbers in nicknames.
  • Consider using a remote wipe program; this will give you the ability to send a command to your device that will delete any data if the device is lost or stolen.
  • Beware of your surroundings and use your device discreetly at locations in which you fell unsafe.
  • Never leave your device unattended in a public place. Don't leave it visible in an unattended car; lock it up in the glove compartment or trunk.

If your mobile device is stolen or lost:

  • Immediately contact your wireless carrier to report the incident and suspend your mobile number.
  • Report the theft to the police, including the make and model, serial and IMEI or MEID number. Some carriers require proof that the device was stolen, and a police report would provide that documentation.
  • Call the Bank of the West Contact Center at 1-800-488-2265 (option 3) to delete your mobile device from your Preference Center.
  • You should change any passwords for online accounts you access through your mobil device as soon as possible. (For example your Business Online Banking password).
  • For additional information on lost or stolen mobile device, view Stolen and Lost Wireless Devices from the FCC.


Report Fraud, Business Identity Theft or Suspicious Activity

If you believe you are the victim of fraud or business identity theft, call Bank of the West immediately at
TTY 800-659-5495

To report a lost or stolen credit card, call us at 1-800-996-2638.

If you've received a suspicious email, let us know by emailing us at:

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