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Is your phone a prized possession?

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Let’s be honest: I spend more time playing games on my smart phone than talking on it. Our phones have become our family photo albums, personal gaming systems, calendars, encyclopedias, navigators, and instant messengers. If you can think of an activity, there’s probably an app for it.

Unfortunately, some apps might not be what they claim, and downloading the wrong app could put your phone on the fritz. According to the FTC, that’s what happened to thousands of people who downloaded the Prized app before it was removed from the app store.

Prized claimed that users could earn prizes by completing tasks like playing games and taking surveys. Instead, the app contained malware that hijacked the phone’s computing power. As a result, phones ran slower, had less battery life, and used up people’s data plans.

What were the defendants doing with the combined computing power of all those phones? They were using it to mine virtual currencies, like Dogecoin and Litecoin. Virtual currencies are created on peer-to-peer networks through a competitive process called “mining.” As more people join the network, the challenge of mining gets tougher. Miners need faster and more advanced computing to make a profit.

In this case, the defendants were using the power of the hijacked phones to mine for their own profit — but the Prized app didn’t tell people that or get their okay. That’s why the FTC and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General brought charges against them. The settlement requires the defendants to pay civil penalties and prohibits them from creating and distributing malicious software.

So, what can you do to avoid downloading malware to your phone?

  • Before you download an app, check out reviews and research the developer. Also, review the permissions that an app requires.
  • If your phone seems to be running slowly, heating up, or losing battery power quickly, check your settings to see which apps are using your data and battery power. If you have apps that are using unreasonable amounts of data and power, consider removing them.
  • If your phone isn’t working properly, you also might want to contact customer support for the company that made the phone or your mobile service provider.


This is probably what happened with Mt other phone as well as someone gaining access to my bank account.

Tell me how this helps me to regain my information should I change accounts or what?

This case isn't about misused information. The "Prized" app took control of the computing resources on people's phones and used that power to “mine” for virtual currencies. Using the phones' power caused their batteries to drain faster and recharge more slowly, and it used up consumers’ monthly data.

I completely agree--before downloading, check it out. BUT I also use my WOT (WebofTrust) widget on my MacBook Pro which is made available as an Apple user with Safari. Reviews are terribly helpful to everyone and you need to take the time to make it a priority before downloading ANYTHING. I really enjoy all of the very important information the FTC staff shares with me. More people need to learn how valuable the staff is to everyone.

it is true that some application is having a mallware,!and we didn't know that is acontaining of mallware.(question)how we know that the application contain a mallware?and what can we do to remove this!

Use the tips in the blog to check on a application before you download it. Learn about the application before you download it. If your phone has problems, contact your service provider or the company that made the phone.

A phone is a phone. That is what I use mine for. The more you add to it the quicker you will need a new one. Not to mention people that can hack them from 3ft away. Never put personal inf in a device that you would not want the world to know

thank you veRY MUCH for this and all your notices--very helpful!

I always learn something new from the FTC. Thanks so much!!

My phone is being interfered with on a daily basis. Call interceptions by some admitted military personal.

Thanks for the valuable information. God bless RS

My phone has a virus now. The culprit is Circle of friends 360.Thanks

I have some Scam News where citizenship establishment individuals are scamming by advertising and selling BLU devices as FREE phones with a one year unlimited talk, abd text at Villa Park a recreational area where a hispanic/indian women imposer of my personal information for her own use, and etc. Customer Order No. 7943769, through Tru connect, where sick male individuals are answering, possibly hacking third party lines to block services, as well as deny them to loyal applicants.

I want to thank you having doing to catch the crooks They think they can pry on the older people but this is one old dude they cant trick

As an old broad (senior citizen), I agree with you selvin39. We're not stupid. I play along with the scammers so they think they have a chance with scamming me, then I let the ball drop and tell them what I think of them. They sure do get testy!

All the nasty negative things I've heard about what smart phone users have to beware of (like what's talked about in this FTC article) is why I've chosen to stay with a dumb cell phone for so long.

A year a go I finally relented and bought a smart phone, but I use very few apps, and I do NOT do any financial transactions on my phone.

I have no problem for the last couple decades doing everything on my desktop: auto pay all my bills and shopping on-line. I just don't feel as secure on my cell phone. I appreciate the FTC's smart phone educational blogs and articles.

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