According to a California security company, thousands of users have been deceived and bought fake cryptocurrency applications for Android. These applications are advertised as a way to make money by mining cryptocurrencies, but in reality they do not fulfill any function. Instead, they charge the user for the expected improvements.
93 thousand users cheated
The fraudsters deceived more than 93,000 users by selling fake cryptocurrency applications through the Google Play store. These numbers come from the latest report from the California security company Lookout. According to the report, the applications mimic the interface for cloud mining platforms. The business model of these applications is to deceive users into thinking that they are actually benefiting from cryptocurrencies.
In fact, applications do nothing at all. They are smaller compared to similar applications that extract private data from their buyers. This allowed some of them to remain undetected in the Google Play Store. Of the 175 applications detected by Lookout, 25 were available in the Play Store and others could be downloaded from third-party markets.
All of these paid applications include costly upgrades and subscription models that seemingly improve mining performance. This is how fraudsters monetize these applications. Users are tricked into thinking that the app is actually benefiting from the currency by showing fake numbers. However, you receive an error message when you try to make a selection.
Two classes: Cloudscam and Bitscam
Lookout divided these applications into two main groups: Clouscam and Bitscam. The main difference between the two is that Bitscam applications also accept payments in cryptocurrencies such as BTC and ETH. Cloudscam applications only accept Google payments. Lookout estimates that customers have lost at least $ 350,000 by investing in these applications.
Google has removed reported apps from the Play Store. However, they are still available on third-party markets. The new boom that the cryptocurrency sector is experiencing makes inexperienced people easy targets for fraudsters. Even though Google already knows about it, there may still be dozens or even hundreds of such apps in the Google Play store.
Lookout advises new investors to conduct their own research before jumping into buying a cryptocurrency mining application. Fraudsters know that inexperienced users are now flocking to the cryptocurrency market and will try to take advantage of this boom. The security company recommends checking the developers behind these applications before purchasing them, installing them only from the official application, and reading the application’s user reviews for any anomalies.