"The little app you thought was just giving you those holiday ringtones was secretly opening up a back door which allowed us to control the phone remotely from our computer," explained Jason Glassberg of Casaba, an Internet security firm based in Seattle.
According to Casaba, phony apps are among dozens of scams that target smartphones daily. Another common scam is called click-jacking.
"Clickjacking is strictly just creating images or something on a website which then, as you attempt to click on it, will actually force you to click on something else," said Casaba tech expert Walter Pearce.
Most of us have seen QR codes that you scan to get to a retail site. Some QR Codes are created by scammers- pretending to be a retailer.
"So when you point your phone and activate this scan, you're not exactly sure where you're 'gonna wind up."
And be careful about using your smartphones for internet searches on the go. Scammers know we tend to click the first results we see, and some of those top results can be fake.
"Illegitimate companies can play the system and get their websites ranked first on a search result," Glassberg said.
The list of smartphone scams is endless and scammers are cashing in- because so many people forget to protect their phones- as well as they protect the laptops and PCs. Other scams that target your smartphone: digital profiling, forced browsing, drive-by download and Wi-Fi sniffing. Look up the descriptions. You might be shocked.
And if you don't have good anti-virus protection on your smartphone, it's a smart idea to get it. Just make sure it's legit. You see, fake anti-virus is another big smartphone scam.