The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to use caution when purchasing retail store or online shopping apps.
Counterfeit apps are designed to look and feel like they belong to legitimate retail stores.
Some 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.
“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 Rosalind Scott, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau on Vancouver Island.