VIDEO: Strangers asking to borrow your cell phone could be stealing valuable information

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2014, file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an announcement of new products in Cupertino, Calif. Faced with a federal judge’s order to help investigators break into an iPhone allegedly used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif., shooters, Apple may well argue that the request would place an unreasonable burden on the company. In fact, doing what the government asks is not likely to be a tough technical feat for Apple. But doing so might have dramatic consequences on the data security of the millions of iPhone users around the world. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(KHON) — Ever have someone ask to borrow your cell phone?

That good deed could be dangerous as scammers have figured out a way to transfer information from your phone.

A recent post on social media warns about a scam involving a person who asks to use your cell phone to make a phone call. Once they have your phone in hand, they download an application that allows them to steal your information.

Tim Caminos, chief operating geek at SuperGeeks, explains how apps work, and how your sensitive information can be stolen right before your eyes.

“All apps generally have a database, so it’s going back somewhere. Information’s being pulled and then it’s sent over a network,” Caminos said. “It’s over your cellular network, or your Wi-Fi network. The app is looking at what’s on your phone, or what’s on your device, taking whatever information that it’s allowed to take and then just transferring it via network.”

The scammer could gain access to your banking information, passwords, contact lists, emails, personal files, and videos. Anything you do or save on your cell phone is exposed. Once it’s taken, it’s difficult to take it back.

Caminos said, “One surefire way of protecting yourself is that you can set your phone so that any file that you download requires your security pin, so if someone tried to do that, it would prevent it from happening, prevent the download from happening.”

The only other way to ensure no one gains access to the information on your cell phone is by not allowing anyone to use it.

“Just enter the number for them,” Caminos said, “and if they do anything but talk on your phone, then I would just take the phone back.”



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