CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - It's the most wonderful time of the year and more crooks, scammers, and thieves are surfacing with scams, including bogus smartphone apps to get your information. The President/CEO of Better Business Bureau Coastal Carolina says shoppers should be careful.
According to industry experts, Branding Brand, a web and app design company they discovered fake apps in the IOS app store. The company says since media reports surfaced, Apple has pulled the apps from the store, but just as they are taken down, they keep popping up.
Dr. John D'Ambrosio, President/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina says be careful when shopping online, he warns the fake apps are a growing trend.
"The fake apps have always been there, but it seems to more of them as you get towards the holidays," said D'Ambrosio. Last month the discovery of the fake apps were made, D'Ambrosio says the crooks want nothing more than you to click on the fake app 'to download' and steal your personal information.
D'Ambrosio says,"Anybody can look good online. A small shopkeeper can look as good as a big business online, so a scammer can look as good as a big business online, and I think you've got be real careful about that, because online everybody looks good."
There are a couple of things you can do to spot a fake app.
According to Branding Brand, look beyond the logo. There's key information that is a giveaway something is not right. The brand and the app's publisher name should be clean and free of typos. It should also match the name of the app.
Check the retailers site. If there is a link to download the app from the retailer's site. D'Ambrosio says it is better safe than sorry. "You are better off if you go directly to whatever business you are looking for, there is a lot less chance for fraud," he added.
Also, look for app reviews. If you see lots of praise, and positive reviews for an app that is super new, that should make shoppers skeptical. Many times scammers will create their own reviews to fool consumers.