Shopping Apps That Aren’t What They Seem

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Watch out for fake shopping apps especially during this holiday shopping season. With millions of shoppers using apps to get the latest and greatest deals on gift purchases, scammers are eager to meet consumer demand.

The problem: Some of those apps may be fake. Apple recently purged hundreds of fake apps from its app download center. However, for every app that is deleted another will pop up in its place. How can you protect yourself from fake apps?

  • Go to the official website of your favorite retailer to download an app. Be very cautious when using a third-party vendor, no matter how well-known. Unless the vendor has a strict verification system for new apps, it’s hard to know which ones are authentic.
  • Be sure to read the terms of service for the app before you click the “Agree” button and start the download.
  • Once the new app is downloaded be sure to check the privacy permissions to assure that you won’t be giving away more personal information than intended.
  • To protect yourself from malicious code that may be downloaded with the app, make certain that your anti-virus and anti-malware is turned on and up to date.

Source: BBB North Alabama

To learn more about mobile apps and how to use them safely, go to Understanding Mobile Apps.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to

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