Retail apps make shopping easy and time-saving by shopping on your own hours, but counterfeit apps could potentially compromise your financial and personal information.
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If you’re an iPhone user, you probably have several apps on your phone for everything from Uber or Lyft to news and weather to shopping. An unnerving trend has begun just in time for the holiday season.
While Apple has prided itself on its scrutiny of apps before they are published, several of these counterfeit apps have managed to slip through the cracks and make it to consumers. While many are harmless, just serving up annoying pop-up ads, some can be downright dangerous.
The potentially dangerous fake apps are mostly from developers in China, according to tech experts. The apps “disguise” themselves to look like valid retailers, such as Dollar Tree, Zappos, Nordstrom’s, and Foot Locker, to name a few, in hopes of garnering sensitive information or hijacking you your phone for ransom.
Consumers should take note of clues that may indicate a fake retail app such as poor use of English, misspellings, no reviews and lack of contact information. While Apple is aware of the trend, as they remove the suspect apps, more seem to be popping up in their place, so consumers need to be vigilant and do their research as the shopping season ramps up.