Fake phone apps found in legitimate app stores

Before you download the latest phone app, beware. You might be downloading a fake.
 
It happened just recently involving some Google apps.
 
It appeared that Google finally released Windows phone versions of Google Voice, Google Maps, Gmail and other apps.
 
They were listed for $1.99 in the Windows app store.
 
But they were found to be fakes by the website, WinBeta.org.
 
Microsoft has now removed them.
 
A couple of giveaways: they cost $1.99 when the real Google apps are free for other phone systems. 
 
Also, WinBeta.org says there was a subtle sign.
 
The developer of the fake is listed as Google, Inc. instead of Google Inc.
 
And have you heard of an app called Virus Shield?
 
For a while in April, it was the most popular app at Google Play.  More than 10 thousand android phone owners paid $3.99 each to download it. 
 
But the website androidpolice.com discovered it too is a fake. And that it offered no virus protection.
 
Google refunded money to people who downloaded it..
 
These fakes may have just wanted your money, not your personal information.
 
But with all of the information most of us carry on our phones, security is a concern.
 
So, protect yourself.
 
While these apps made it on legit sites, experts suggest sticking with big name app stores for fewer "fake" problems.
 
Also, read reviews and the permissions you see before downloading and make sure you don't see something obviously suspicious.
 
Need my help? Call 1-855-323-1515. The Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers take calls live Wednesdays and Fridays 11-1. You can leave a message anytime, e-mail me , or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.
 
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