Watch Out for Fake Apps!
The holidays have come and gone and the cyber scammers are STILL out in full force! Their latest trick is creating fake apps, tricking consumers like you into downloading them to your smartphone or tablet, and ask you to load your personal credit card information in these apps. You can guess what happens next.
How is this happening?
Apple’s App Store is getting crowded with fake impostor apps and Google Play is having the same problem. Starbucks started the first "retail app", and many stores have followed. They appear to be legitimate retail store apps, but when users install them, criminals can steal consumers’ personal information, or install viruses that capture confidential information from smartphones and tablets.
The counterfeiters are posing as well-known popular companies like Dollar Tree, Foot Locker, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Zappos.com, Polyvore, Jimmy Choo, Christian Dior and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Here are 5 things to think about to protect yourself:
- Be very judicious in deciding what app to download. Better safe than sorry.
- If you *do* decide to download an app, first thing to check is the reviews, apps with few reviews or bad reviews are a big red flag.
- Never click on a link in any email to download a new app. Only go to the website of the retailer to get a link to the legit app on the AppStore or Google Play.
- Give as little information as possible if you decide to use an app.
- Be very, very reluctant to link your credit card to any app!
Information taken from New York Times: