The holiday season is fast approaching, and many consumers are likely to be doing some shopping online or via their smartphones. With the expected increase in users who would be buying stuff online, fake shopping apps have started to pop up like crazy on Apple’s App Store. To remedy this, the Cupertino giant is doing some purging of bogus apps.
The New York Times ran a story over the weekend about the upsurge of rogue apps in Apple’s iOS App Store. These apps are said to be from developers in China, and they are either relatively harmless or very annoying with the amount of pop-up ads they contain. Meanwhile, others could have been designed to retrieve customer data such as credit card information.
Security experts have said that China is the biggest source of fake apps that manage to pass through Apple’s monitors because their developers simply change the names and credentials and resubmit similar apps once the bogus ones have been caught.
One of the producers of fake apps that was identified by Apple is Footlocke Sports. The developer was found to have been the source of bogus apps for Celine, Puma, Nike, Canada Goose and more.
The biggest mistake that consumers can make when stumbling upon any of the fake shopping apps is ordering items from them that are never going to arrive. This is reportedly just a trick that is mainly there to capture the attention of users and lure them into purchasing items by entering their credit card info, according to AppleInsider.
In response to the issue, Apple has now removed the fraudulent apps from Footlocke Sports and reassured users users are safe from scams as the navigate the App Store. “We strive to offer customers the best experience possible and we take their security very seriously. We've set up ways for customers and developers to flag fraudulent or suspicious apps, which we promptly investigate to ensure the App Store is safe and secure,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said.
Since other bogus apps are still lurking on Apple’s App Stores, PhoneArena advises that everyone should be in the lookout for shady apps. The tech news site claims that to easily spot if an app is a phoney, users should check out its description for bad English and find out if its it has questionable reviews. Also, whenever possible, consumers are reminded to check the official websites and trusted online stores of the things they want to purchase. This way, the possibility of getting scammed is very minimal.
This is not the first time that Apple removed apps from its App Stores over certain issues. In September, the tech giant started to evaluate apps for problems and identify which ones were not updated. The difference between then and now is the fact that the cleanup that was conducted before targeted apps that were bereft of updates.