Both New York Post and New York Times have discovered a lot of fake shopping applications in the App Store. This problem has also been recently seen in Google’s Play Store. Some of these applications keeping displaying banner ads while others could even have more server consequences.Some of them could have intense viruses and malware that can be used to steal your personal data. Scammers making these applications can benefit from the unsuspecting individuals entering the credit card info in their fake apps.
Here is a brief roundup of how you can spot the fake applications.
- Check the app’s publisher. You should be careful on this as scammers use quite similar names. For instance, there was a case for Overstock Inc which was a fake and Overstock.com (real).
- Look at the customer reviews in the Google Play Store. A real application should have thousands of positive reviews while a fake app has zero.
- Check the publish date. A fake one has a recent date whereas the real app has an ‘updated on’ date. For instance, Overstock Inc hand been published on 26 October 2016.
- Look for spelling errors in the description or title. Most of the fake apps are from China. In case the description seems not be the developer’s native language, take extra caution.
- Beware of applications that promise huge discount. If your find the deal too good to be true. It probably is.
- Visit the store website in a browser and then check for a button that says ‘Get app’. This directs you to Google Play Store where you can install the real app.
In case you’ve fallen victim to a fake app, check your credit card or bank account statement instantly. If you find a suspicious activity, immediately report it. You should also change the passwords for all sites that you have personal information. And make sure the passwords
are very strong and not similar on multiple sites.