The New York Times just reported on hundreds of fake retail apps that recently appeared in Apple’s App Store – just in time for holiday shopping.
Vindu Goel writes that the fraudsters “have masqueraded as retail chains like Dollar Tree and Foot Locker, big department stores like Dillard’s and Nordstrom, online product bazaars like Zappos.com and Polyvore, and luxury-goods makers like Jimmy Choo, Christian Dior and Salvatore Ferragamo.”
A number of app developers are cited in the article. “We’re seeing a barrage of fake apps” says one, noting that it was the first time they had seen so many counterfeit iPhone apps emerge in such a short period of time. Another developer said:
“It’s important that brands monitor how their name is being used.”
In September we blogged about the fact that mobile sales grew by 30% in the U.S. during the first half of 2016 compared to last year, and now represent 52% of all eCommerce sales. And for the first time ever, smartphones delivered the majority of mobile transactions in every major global market.
So it is more important than ever for brand owners to monitor how their IP is being used in the global app marketplaces. The NYT article notes that some of the fakes appeared to be relatively harmless, but:
“… there are serious risks to using a fake app. Entering credit card information opens a customer to potential financial fraud. Some fake apps contain malware that can steal personal information or even lock the phone until the user pays a ransom. And some fakes encourage users to log in using their Facebook credentials, potentially exposing sensitive personal information.”
If you would like to see how how your brands appear in the global app marketplace, drop us a note – we would be happy to provide you with a free brand report.