Scam of the day – November 10, 2016 – Phony Apps turning up on the Apple App Store

Numerous sources are reporting about phony apps turning up in the Apple App Store.  With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, these phony apps, many of which are meant to look like apps for legitimate retailers such as Christian Dior, Foot Locker, Nordstrom, Jimmy Choo or Dollar Tree,  present a real danger to consumers who may unwittingly provide their credit card information to a scammer through one of these apps.

While everyone should recognize the risk of downloading apps from unofficial sources, it has generally been believed that you are safer downloading an app from legitimate sources such as the Apple App Store or Google Play where apps are vetted before being made available to the public.  However, it appears that lately there has been an increase in dangerous phony apps with most of them originating in China.

TIPS

It is still a good idea to limit your downloading of apps from legitimate sources such as the Apple App Store and Google Play to avoid malware infected apps.  Phony apps for Pokemon Go was a problem for many people last Summer, particularly in countries where the game was not yet released.  Before downloading any app, read the reviews carefully.  While scammers will write glowing phony reviews about their apps, their reviews are usually cursory and do not provide much information.  Also, make sure that you have installed security software on your phone and that it is updated with the latest security patches.