WARNING: Fake retail apps spoofing others to get your personal information

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Consumers who use apps to shop should be extra careful this holiday shopping season.

Fake retail apps are popping up to get your money and personal information.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are easy targets because so many are expected to use the mobile phones to shop or find coupons.

In 2014 alone, BrandProtect detected over 3100 malicious app store listings for apps targeting shoppers.

CBS reports we have already seen that same thing happen this year.

Hundreds of apps reportedly slipped through Apple's vetting process.

The problem: these can be dangerous.

Austin Calvert at Modern Technology in Cape Girardeau explained it this way:

"If you get something like an app that lets you buy from Amazon but it isn't actually from Amazon, you maybe able to still use it but you're not going to be able to have any of the same security you get from amazon such as encryption and data protection that the actual Amazon app uses," Calvert said.

Good news: there are ways to protect yourself.

  • Check the publisher. Some fake apps will mimic other popular store apps, changing the name of the publisher just slightly. The easiest way to make sure you download the correct app is to click on the link to the app store on the store's website.
  • Check the reviews and ratings. Popular store apps should have some sort of rating and several reviews because people always have something to say.
  • Check the date it was published. If the app was published recently, chances are it isn't real.

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