Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is on a purge rampage right now. On the App Store, there are a large number of counterfeit apps that parade themselves as real brands. The presence of fake apps is only surging prior to the holiday season, which has prompted Apple to take action. But experts are noting that the tech titan should have seen this coming. Whatever the case, it’s important that you take precaution before you enter your credit card information for that app that you think belongs to Nike, Nordstrom and Puma.
Apple Inc. Fights ‘Footlocke Sports’
Over the weekend, the New York Times posted an in-depth piece about the rise of fake apps. These mobile applications use well-known brands to sell their fake products on the App Store. Since then, Apple has been removing these unscrupulous apps, but they keep coming back.
The newspaper cited one example of an app called Overstock Inc. It attempts to convince shoppers that it was actually the popular website Overstock.com. The fake app was selling clothes and Ugg boots. After the discovery, Apple eliminated the app, but it returned to the Store a day later.
Why? Developers are coming up with clever ways to avoid Apple’s rigorous review process. As Apple receives thousands of applications every day, it’s possible that several will always go through the cracks.
Tom Neumayr, a spokesperson for Apple, said that it takes “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,” said Neumayr. “We’ve removed these offending apps and will continue to be vigilant about looking for apps that might put our users at risk.”
Indeed, this is bad timing for both Apple and consumers. With Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday just days away, it’s going to be quite the ordeal to prevent fraud from happening. Akin to previous years, the amount of mobile and online shopping will only go up, and this is an opportunity for the hucksters.
Last year, mobile sales rose to just under $50 billion in the U.S.
How You Can Defend Yourself Against Fake Apps on Apple Inc. Store
So, how exactly can you defend yourself against fake apps on the App Store. Well, it’s simple: be careful.
There are numerous ways to detect a fake app, whether it’s on Google Play or on the App Store.
Here are just a couple of methods to use to determine a fake app:
- A lot of apps will have spelling mistakes so when in doubt be sure to perform a quick Google search to find out how the brand is really spelled.
- Take a peek at the shoddy logo or website design. If it’s blurry, sloppy or different than what you’re used to then it’s probably a fake.
- Refrain from using one-click buying as a precaution.
- Search the developer’s profile to look for other apps they have created.
By incorporating these tips into your holiday shopping schedule, you can be rest assured that you won’t fall victim to a scam.
For now, Apple will just play a game of whac-a-mole.