Consumers warned about fake shopping apps for smartphones

BBB says fake shopping apps could be used to steal credit card information.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Better Business Bureau is warning shoppers this holiday season to look out for fake shopping apps on their phones. Schemers have started creating apps to look like popular retail chains with similar names and logos to hit consumers with advertisements or to steal their credit card information.

The Better Business Bureau says these fake apps have no quality control, so looking out for spelling errors in the app’s description can be a warning sign. Consumer should also check an app’s reviews before downloading. An app without reviews is a definite warning sign.

“They get all of your credit card information and everything and then you’ve got a big dilemma going on, and all that identity theft and everything,” Antonio Velez said. “So we make sure we look through everything before we download anything.”

Fake apps have been found in both the Android and Apple app stores. The Better Business Bureau says schemers like to imitate some of the most popular brands and retailers for the holiday season, so if the app you are looking at has no previous version in its history, that’s another warning sign.

Consumers should also check a store’s website to make sure the retailer even has an app in the first place.