The market online and electronic market for ringtones is full of scams.
Leave it to resourceful identity thieves to find a way to take advantage of our need for the latest ringtones and applications for our cellphones. Thieves have found a way to steal identities using ringtone web sites.
Kids make especially good targets.
Teenagers with cellphones invariably have to have the latest and coolest ringtones and, even worse, will almost always download “free” items without a second thought. Often, sites that advertise free ringtones will attach viruses to your download in order to steal personal information. or kids are enticed to text free ringtone sites to get free downloads.
The following tips can help keep you safe:
Teach your kids about identity theft and how thieves use the information they collect.
Use the ring tone that came with your phone. This isn't fun and it definitely isn't cool, but it's the only sure-fire way to avoid identity theft with ringtones.
Don't download ringtones from free sites. Too often, these sites attach viruses to your download, which can then steal personal information.
Don't send text messages to to sites in order to receive free ringtones. A common scam is to charge a fee or subscription that will appear monthly on your cellphone bill.
Don't keep sensitive personal or financial information on your cellphone (bank info, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or dates of birth). The less personal information there is on your phone, the less thieves have to work with if you do get a virus on your phone.
Only buy your ringtones from established cell phone service providers.
If you do find yourself the target of ringtone thieves, file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – click on this link.