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Cyber Thieves Are Stepping Up Their Game And Your Smartphone Could Be Next On Their List

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- Cyber thieves are stepping up their game, online hackers are targeting smartphones and tablets and many victims don't even know what hit them.

"My phone started singing a song and the song had a couple curse words in it, and I, there's no way I could make it stop," Leanne Karlgut told CBS 2's Don Dahler.

Cyber criminals are infiltrating phones and tablets at an alarming rate. Reports of disruptive software or information gathering malware have increased by six-hundred-percent in recent years.

"As more people are using the phone for both their personal use and their business use, the malware writers are viewing that as a good, good spot to hit you," explained George Waller of StrikeForce Technologies.

Viruses are recording texts and emails, others are holding on to every password that users enter.

"It could get your banking credentials and essentially go into your bank, act as you," Waller said.

Experts worry that using a mobile wallet app could give criminals a chance to steal your information by stealing short wave radio chip transmissions between the phone and the retailer.

"So, I have one person standing next to a victim and my accomplice at a retail location could be halfway around the world and they're just spent this person's credit card," explained Eddie Lee of Blackwing Intelligence.

Experts offered a number of suggestions to safeguard your phone.

You can stay ahead of cyber crooks by downloading smartphone security software, avoiding suspicious links, and only buying apps from well-known vendors, according to the Wireless Trade Association.

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