Cryptocurrencies is becoming more popular, but as interest increases, so does the creativity of fraudsters who want to use a cultural change to rip people off. According to a Latest report from Trend Micro’s cybersecurity team, there are tons of fake crypto mining and wallet apps now on the Google Play Store tricking users into paying for fake services like cloud mining and storage.
The report names eight apps in particular:
- Bitcoin 2021
- Bitcoin Miner – cloud mining
- Bitcoin (BTC) – pool mining cloud wallet
- BitFunds – crypto cloud mining
- Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining
- Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System
- Ethereum (ETH) – pool mining cloud
- MineBit Pro – Crypto Cloud Mining & BTC Miner
Most of these apps hid one of two fake mining apps – either Trend Micro called “AndroidOS_FakeMinerPay” or “AndroidOS_FakeMinerAd” – that trick users into paying for fake cloud mining services, usually at a monthly fee of 15 U.S. dollar. In reality, none of the apps mined or paid out cryptocurrencies to users.
Some also pushed paid ads and additional in-app purchases, and at least two of the apps – Crypto Holic and Daily Bitcoin Rewards – were premium apps that users had to buy in order to download them.
Google has removed these apps from the Google Play Store, according to the Trend Micro report. Apps that are removed from the list are then deactivated and removed from all devices to which they are downloaded. However, it is still wise to confirm that they have been deleted from your Android phone if you have downloaded any of the apps listed above.
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There are more fake crypto apps out there
Unfortunately, even after these bans (and Google’s revision of its own crypto guidelines) Trend Micro researchers claim that there are currently more than 120 other fraudulent crypto apps available on the Play Store. Some have been downloaded by over 100,000 users. And these apps are not called or removed until proven that they are actually committing some form of crypto fraud.
As we remind you every time one of these malicious apps stories comes up, make sure to thoroughly check any software you download. Stick to popular apps and developers and read through the ratings and reviews – even on trusted websites like the Google Play Store. A quick internet search or even getting a second opinion in a serious discussion forum is also worthwhile.
Nevertheless, malicious developers will do everything in their power to make their apps look legitimate. Don’t pay for apps, services, or special features unless you are sure they are real. If in doubt, do not pass on any payment information or personal data. And if you’re already paying for an app that claims to offer cloud mining services but haven’t made a return, it means it’s likely a fake. Delete the app and report it immediately.