Your personal information could be at risk with some smartphone apps

These days online shopping is made even easier with smartphone apps — but how can you spot the fake ones?

Both the Apple App Store and Google Play have had to remove apps they later discovered were fake. People who may have already downloaded those apps could be at risk of getting their personal information stolen.

The New York Times reported that Apple removed hundreds of fake apps around the holidays. Some of them copied legitimate sites like Nordstrom, Foot Locker and the Dollar Tree.

Felicia Thompson with the Better Business Bureau says you should do some homework before downloading.

Here are some tips to establish an apps legitimacy: 

  • Look for reviews and comments — most real apps will have plenty of them.
  • Misspelling and grammatical errors are a common giveaway.
  • Check out the developer if it's listed with the app. Do they have other apps or a website?

Some of the fakes could be harmlessly getting you to look at advertising.

But others could be gaining your credit card and other information.

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