There are some good deals to be had on Black Friday and beyond. Retailers have already started advertising those deals, but scammers are also gearing up to take advantage. Scammers have even set up look-a-like websites and fake apps in order to get your credit card information. If you are considering buying from a website that is not from a traditional retailer, make sure to check it out first. Rampant misspellings, poor grammar, vague return policies and unrealistic prices are a good indicator that the website you’re ordering from is not legitimate. In its holiday scam tips, the Better Business Bureau recommends only using your credit card on a secure website with “https” in the web address.
Here are a few red flags to consider before downloading:
- Brand name is spelled slightly incorrectly
- No reviews attached to the app
- Zero-star reviews attached to the app
- No customer support information
Hundreds of rogue apps, most of which came from developers in China, have managed to slip through Apple’s review process.
If reviews are bad and it is brand new–big red flag. Do not download, install or run that app!
Although Apple is actively policing these submissions, it’s clearly impossible to catch every offender and the risks for consumers are many. Aside from the general frustration of a dud download, there are major security issues. If one of these apps requests your credit card information, you are now vulnerable to a slew of security problems. If one of these developers requests that you sign in with your Facebook credentials, you are now vulnerable to a slew of privacy problems.
Before you download any app, do a quick Google search to ensure its legitimate (that is to say, the app has been reviewed online on reputable websites).