Experts say smartphones are becoming increasingly popular not only with consumers, but also with scammers.

A recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta says because smartphones are increasing in popularity so quickly, scammers are following suit.

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One study cited by the Fed found consumers are three times more likely to respond to a phishing email on a smartphone than they are on a computer. And many phone users don't use passcode locks or antivirus software.

This dynamic is also rated to an increase in smartphone theft, and the boldness of the thieves. The phone itself is not what the thieves are after. It’s the data. A friend recently had her iphone stolen. Friends walked her through the procedure of erasing the sim card remotely. She may have been too late. I recommended she closely monitor her e-mail, and Facebook accounts.

Phone makers are planning new security devices, like built-in fingerprint scanners, into the next generation of smartphones, but officials warn that changing consumer behavior is still critical. They say smartphone users need to understand that their phone is really a computer and should be protected like one.