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Fake shopping apps on the rise

cell phone

WASHINGTON — According to ComScore, American shoppers spent $56 billion online during last year’s holiday season and almost 20 percent of that came from transactions made on smartphones and tablets, but with convenience comes risk, as scammers develop fake apps that steal shopper information.

Rogue apps have been found on Apple and Droid app stores lately, so here are ways to identify those fake apps before using them. University of Arkansas Chief Information Security Officer Don Faulkner has worked in cyber security for more than 20 years, here are his tips:

  • Always be suspicious. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t let a good deal suck you in.
  • Be cautious of using apps that are having constant sales.
  • Only download from official app stores.
  • Check the date the app was published. If it’s recent, that means the store hasn’t been around long, and probably isn’t real.
  • Look out for typos. If there are typos in the app title or description, stay clear of those.
  • Use outlets like Apple Pay or Paypal. Most apps take payment in multiple ways. Using these will keep the app from actually getting your card information.

If you find your information has been stolen, contact your bank and credit card company.