HSBC has issued an urgent fraud warning after a spike in the number of UK customers downloading dummy apps that trick users into handing over financial information.
The bank says that in recent weeks it has been made aware of dozens of customers downloading dummy apps that impersonate genuine apps with similar names.
The fake apps ask for personal information like usernames or credit card details which could then be used by criminals to try and steal money. The fakes may also block, redirect or impersonate legitimate apps, including banking ones. Others are designed to trick users into thinking they are logging on to their banking app.
HSBC has added a warning to its 'Latest Scams' page and put out a push notification on its Fraud and CyberAwareness app.
David Callington, head of fraud, HSBC UK, says: "Our own teams are alive to dummy apps and report them when we come across them, getting them taken down, but criminals make new ones or change the names or designs. It is a constant battle.
"Customers can help protect themselves by being vigilant and cautious, which are the best defences against this, ensuring you only download apps from trusted sources and do what you can to verify the authenticity of the app before exposing your device."