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Recently, there have been hundreds of counterfeit shopping apps have been discovered in Apple's App Store which are luring customers into buying fake products to get hold of the credit card details.
Similar to the App Store, the Google Play Store is also plagued by a number of such apps with a primary intention of stealing sensitive information from the users. While being annoying, this kind of apps may turn out to be very dangerous eventually.
Moreover, Google has rolled out the Net Banking payment option for purchasing apps from the Play Store in India. While this may come as good news for a few, it can turn out to be quite a harmful affair for some.
This can be attributed to the fact that more people will likely purchase apps from the Play Store which in turn gives the rogue app developers another reason to introduce more fake apps.
With this in mind, we have collated a list of 5 tips that will help you spot the fake apps. Though we are focusing on the Google Play Store in this article, Apple iPhone users can follow the same tips to stay safe.
Check for spelling mistakes in the title
First and foremost thing that has to be done before purchasing an app is to carefully check for its title and description. Typically, scammers use similar names as that of popular apps. For instance, if you are purchasing an app named "Flipkart", scammers may use a slightly different name like "FlIpkart."
Obviously, Flipkart is a free app in India and is used here only for the sake of reference.
Check for app developers reputation
Another tip to stay away from purchasing fake apps is to look for the app developer's reputation. You can simply Google the name of the developer and if you get verifiable information on the internet then continue the purchase or else you are better off skipping that app from purchasing.
Read the app permissions carefully
One of the most important things to do while purchasing an app is to read the app permissions carefully. If the app asks for permissions which comply with its features then well and good, install the app. In other cases such as a flashlight app asking permission for your contacts, SMS, and other stuff, we assume you know what to do.
Also, before purchasing an app from the Play Store, invest some time and read its reviews carefully. A real app is likely to have thousands of reviews while a fake one may won't have any. Additionally, doing so will give you an idea if the app is actually worth purchasing or not.
Don’t fall for the apps that offer huge discounts
Finally, don't fall for the apps that promise huge discounts on products. It's highly likely that those apps are just a way of luring you into installing them thereby getting hold of sensitive data from your smartphone.