Better Business Bureau warns of shopping apps

Counterfeit apps are designed to look and feel like they belong to legitimate retail stores

  • Dec. 14, 2016 3:00 p.m.

The Better Business Bureau serving Vancouver Island is warning consumers to use caution when purchasing retail store or online shopping apps.

“There has been a dramatic increase in the past year in the use of mobile devices for online shopping,” said Rosalind Scott, president and CEO of BBB serving Vancouver Island. “And with this increased use there has been an increase in the development of mobile shopping apps and likewise, scam artists creating fake apps to try to rip people off.”

Counterfeit apps are designed to look and feel like they belong to legitimate retail stores. Popular brand named retail stores such as Jimmy Choo, Foot Locker, Nordstrom, Dollar Tree, Christian Dior and Zappos are only a few businesses to have counterfeit apps created using their brand names.

In some cases, the fake apps are relatively harmless and only result in an influx of pop-up junk ads in the app. In other cases, when the fake app is installed and opened on your phone, phishing scams begin, credit card information is stolen or malware is installed with the intent of stealing passwords and private banking information. In some instances, phones are even being locked down and held hostage until a ransom is paid to the scam artist.

“Both the Apple App Store and Google Play have seen an influx of fake retail apps popping up this holiday season, and while they are working tirelessly to shut down fake apps, the sheer volume of new apps being created is difficult to police,” said Scott.

If you find yourself the victim of a fake app scam be sure to: have your phone scanned for viruses and malware; inform all your financial institutions; immediately change your account passwords; and report the scam online at: www.bbb.org/scamtracker.

For more information about BBB or for additional consumer and business tips visit bbb.org/Vancouver-island.

 

 

Just Posted

Saanich Police looking for information relating to suspicious death

The body of a man was found on Crease Avenue just after 9 a.m. on Saturday

250th Free Little Library installed in Victoria

Greater Victoria now has the highest density of mapped little libraries in the country

Urbanists hope to see Victoria’s unused rooftops, parkades, parking lots become usable green space

Downtown Residents Association says city dwellers should have access to parks

For the love of fibre: fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Cemetery tour explores Metchosin’s early history

A tour with grave consequences for those wishing to explore Metchosin’s history takes place Aug. 25

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read