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Scam Alert: Watch Out for Fake Smart Phone Apps


Integrated Computer Services is your trusted source for all newly discovered security threats you might come across on a day to day basis. Hackers are dedicated to stealing your personal, or business critical data. These threats advance as technology advances, so just about every week there is a new scam to be on the lookout for. The main goal of the phishing scam is to look as legitimate as possible. The average person seems to trust anything that looks familiar to them. This leads most of the criminals to spoof popular name brand websites and companies. If you are a regular reader of the ICS blog you already know to question everything before you click on it. One click of the mouse has the potential of creating serious downtime or financial loss for your business. This week the bad guys got the idea to spoof popular smart phone apps.

App ID theft has made its way into the picture just in time for holiday shopping and online purchases. In recent weeks there have been reports of Google Play and Apples App Store hosting phony versions of legitimate apps. These fake apps look identical to the real thing and have been causing problems for countless customers. In some cases the scammers have even found popular brands that do not offer app services and created fake ones for victims to click on. Some of the fake applications that were discovered are Dollar Tree, Foot Locker, Dillards, Nordstom, Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Christian Dior. Once these apps are installed by the end users they can install spyware or even steal your personal information.

App stores are programmed to search for malicious code, which these fake apps do not contain and because of this they are able to bypass the security features of the app store. From there all it takes is the victim to enter their credit card information and the scam is successful. Apple and Google are finding it hard to weed out all the fake apps.

Some tips for you to use this holiday season are to be very judgmental of these apps, make sure the name of the app as well as the publisher are spelled correctly, always read the review of the app (less reviews are suspicious), give the least amount of personal information possible, and be extremely cautious when handing over any credit card information.

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