Scammers are thriving now more than ever thanks to the recent technology. Unsuspecting online consumers are lured by fake retail apps. With the Holiday season, iPhone users are particularly vulnerable to these exploits.
Fake Retail Apps
It's the time of the year again when people shop for the Holiday season. There are so many ways to shop for products. Online shopping is the most convenient. However, consumers should be warned that there's a possibility of being scammed. In the case of the Apple App Store and even in Google Play Store, there are a number of fake apps.
According to the New York Times, scammers disguise these fake apps through already established retailers. For instance, consumers are deceived with fake Dollar Tree, Foot Locker, Dillard's, Nordstrom, Zappos.com, Polyvore, and brands like Jimmy Choo, Christian Dior and Salvatore Ferragamo apps.
This is quite alarming for Branding Brand's Chief Executive Chris Mason. His company has been tracking new shopping apps. He revealed that this is the first time that there have been so many counterfeit iPhone apps. In fact, these "barrage of fake apps" emerge in only a short period of time.
According to the New York Post, scammers are planning to capitalize on the fast-growing market for mobiles sales. comScore reported that the said market leaped 56 percent to $49.2 billion last year.
The Risks Of These Apps
Mason explained that some of these apps appeared to be relatively harmless. The worse that consumers can get is annoying pop-up ads. But it can also be really risky to use. Those behind these apps could steal your information. Thus, the potential of further fraud.
Likewise, those stolen sensitive personal data can lead to money extortion. Or you could simply lose money in buying products that are not actually sold.
Where The Responsibility Lies?
The New York Times further reports that most of these apps were developed in China. Apparently, they may have slipped through Apple's reviewing process. It should be known that Apple has a better security platform than that of Google's Android.
However, they may be focusing more on combating malicious software than fake apps. Possible Mobile's Chie Executive Ben Reubenstein said that the brands and developers should take the responsibility. Reubenstein suggested that they should monitor how their name is being used. If they ever find fake apps, it should be reported.
Apple's Actions Against Fake Apps
Apple said that they have already removed a significant number of apps. Furthermore, they are still reviewing other apps in their App Store. The tech giant wants to make sure that the apps should function as intended. It's important that the current review guidelines are followed.
Meanwhile, Apple's spokesman Tom Neumayr advised their customers and developers to flag fraudulent or suspicious apps. Apple assured that they will promptly investigate these apps. They reiterated that the safety and security of the customers in the App Store is ensured.