Just in time for holiday shopping, a number of counterfeit mobile apps have been released for both Apple and Android.
The apps appear to be legitimate retail chain store apps, but they are fake; and are designed to steal personal information, including debit and credit card information. Fake apps have appeared for Dollar Tree, Nordstrom, Uggs, and Zappos, among others. Apple and Google are working to remove the fake apps, but are having trouble keeping up.
The FBI has provided these warning signs to look for:
- Who published the app? Look for slight changes in the name of the app or misspelled words.
- Read before clicking. Carefully read the description of the app and reviews before you download it.
- When was the app first published? Fake apps have recent publish dates. A real app will reveal updated dates.
- Counterfeit apps are often created outside the U.S.; so look for incorrect sentence structure and use of words.
- Be wary of apps promising discounts.
- The apps may provide the name of a major retailer or social media company but when the app is started the display shows errors or misplaced credential input fields.
- When in doubt contact the company directly. Some of the retailers targeted don’t have a mobile app.
Happy holiday shopping and remember…
Be security aware!