Apple, Google told to explain themselves after crypto scams hit app stores

Apple, Google told to explain themselves after crypto scams hit app stores

US Senator wants to know how the companies protect customers. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has sent a letter to the CEOs of Apple and demanding the companies explain how they review and approve mobile apps for cryptocurrency trading and storing.

The warning from the FBI that retail investors’ peers had lost more than $42 million to cryptocurrency frauds in less than a year precedes the letter by a few days.

The senator informed Cook on Thursday that “Crypto mobile apps are accessible to the public through app stores, including Apple’s App Store,” according to The Verge. “While cryptocurrency trading applications have made it simple and convenient for investors to transact in cryptocurrencies, allegations of bogus crypto apps that have conned hundreds of investors have also surfaced.

Preventing fraud

Brown also wants to know if the businesses keep an eye on the apps they list in the stores, how they prevent them from “transforming” into phishing scams, and if they have ever warned consumers about phony cryptocurrency apps.

The letter continues, “While companies that provide cryptocurrency investment and other related services should take the necessary precautions to prevent fraudulent activity, including alerting investors to the rise in scams, it is equally important that app stores have the necessary safeguards in place to guard against fraudulent mobile application activity.

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So far, Apple and Google have stayed silent, although they do have until August 10 to reply.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently issued a warning to American residents advising them to use additional caution when downloading investing and cryptocurrency-related mobile apps since some of them are harmful and created just to steal money from their victims.

“The FBI has observed cybercriminals contacting US investors, falsely representing themselves as offering legitimate cryptocurrency investment services, and persuading investors to download false mobile apps,” the Bureau said. “The cybercriminals have used these tactics with increasing success over time to defraud the investors of their cryptocurrency.” According to the organization, thieves have stolen $42.7 million from 244 victims.

Cybercriminals are still active despite the fact that the cryptocurrency market is in a severe bear market (Bitcoin has lost over two-thirds of its value since November 2021). Some of them employ cutting-edge strategies, such deepfake videos, to deceive people into thinking well-known people support their ideas.

Others are stealing identities, fabricating attractive women’s social media personas for their bogus profiles, pleading for “assistance,” or enticing individuals to co-invest in ventures that offer great returns on their money.

Cybercriminals continue to use cryptomining malware, or “cryptominers,” to mine cryptocurrency, while ransomware assaults still use tokens the most frequently. The FBI advises everyone to use extreme caution when installing apps, to only do so from reputable sources (such as the mobile app repositories of Google and Apple), and to set two-factor authentication on all accounts.

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