Shopping scams ramp up ahead of Black Friday

As people across the U.S. prepare to find good deals Thursday night and early Friday morning, hundreds of malicious Black Friday apps and websites will be waiting, hoping to steal personal data and credit card information, a report from cybersecurity company RiskIQ says.

The report, cited by CNN , says the attacks aim for customers in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Cybercriminals create fake mobile apps and landing pages with realistic branding and the report warns this activity ramps up around major holidays and events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

"They want to convince consumers to download bad apps or visit bogus sites and ultimately "phish"for sensitive data," CNN reports.

One scam CNN warns, is circulation on the popular messaging platform WhatsApp. Ahead of Black Friday, the scam promises 99-percent-off discounts on Amazon.com. On Twitter, Amazon warns, "Please don't share your order/account/personal details in such websites."

"Consumers are especially vulnerable when shopping on smartphones," CNN warns.

Shoppers need to also be careful when downloading apps.

"Bogus holiday deal apps made by scammers can fool users into typing in their credit card information, while other apps feature malware that can steal personal data or lock a smartphone until the user pays a ransom fee," CNN reports.

RiskIQ's report says about 5.5. percent of the 4,324 Black Friday-related apps on global app stores are deemed malicious or unsafe, as are 4.6 percent of Cyber Monday apps.