Wrong-doers have infected PCs with malicious software, or malware, for decades. Now, they are fast moving to smartphones as the devices become a vital part of everyday life, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

The worst programs cause a phone to rack up unwanted service charges, record calls, intercept text messages and even dump emails, photos and other private content directly onto criminals’ servers.

Malicious applications often masquerade as legitimate ones, such as games, calculators or pornographic photos and videos. They can appear in advertising links inside other applications. Their moneymaking schemes include new approaches that are impossible on PCs.