93,000 users were scammed into buying fake crypto mining apps
According to a recent announcement by the California security company, 93,000 users have been tricked into buying fake cryptocurrency mining apps for Android. These apps are advertised as a way to make money by extracting cryptocurrencies, but they do not serve any purpose. Instead, they charge consumers for improvements and upgrades designed to improve their currency.
93,000 users were tricked into buying fake crypto mining apps
Scammers have tricked more than 93,000 users by selling them fake crypto apps through the Google Play Store. These numbers come from the latest report from Lookout, a California-based security company.
According to the report, the apps mimick the look and feel of cloud mining platforms. The business model of these apps is to trick users into believing that they are actually mining cryptocurrencies.
In fact, the application does nothing. Compared to similar apps that extract personal data from their buyers, they are better. This allows some of them to go undetected in the Google Play Store. Of the 175 apps Lookout found, 25 are available on the Play Store, the rest can be downloaded from third-party markets.
All of these paid apps come with expensive subscription models and upgrades, ostensibly to improve production productivity. This is how scammers make money with these apps. Users are tricked into thinking that the apps are actually making money by displaying fake numbers. But then they get an error message when they try to download it.
93,000 users have been tricked into buying fake crypto mining apps – Cloudscam and Bitscam
Lookout divides these applications into 2 main groups: Clouscam and Bitscam. The main difference between these two apps is that the Bitscam apps also accept payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Cloudscam app only accepts payments from Google. Lookout estimates that customers lost at least $ 350,000 by investing in these apps.
Google has removed the reported apps from the Play Store. However, they are still available from third-party markets.
The new boom the crypto industry is experiencing makes the inexperienced an easy target for scammers. Even if Google already knows this, dozens, even hundreds, of apps can still lurk in the Google Play Store.
Lookout advises new investors to conduct adequate due diligence before purchasing any cryptocurrency mining app. Scammers know that inexperienced users are currently following the crowd trying to capitalize on this boom. The security company recommends knowing the developers of these apps before buying
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