The San Francisco-based firm Lookout detected 172 fake Android apps, which offered crypto mining services but instead stole money from innocent users.
The cybersecurity firm Lookout detected numerous crypto mining scams employing hundreds of fake Android applications. The fraudulent scheme affected at least 93,000 people and stole more than $350,000 from them.
Stealing Money Instead of Mining Crypto
According to a recent report, the security company Lookout discovered 172 bogus Android applications meant to be used for digital assets mining. Instead, the apps turned out to scam at least 93,000 victims and embezzled some $350,000 from them.
The applications were categorized into two distinct Android app divisions – BitScam and CloudScam. The bad actors allegedly designed them to target people interested in cryptocurrencies.
At their core, BitScam and CloudScam advertised crypto mining operations for a fee to the clients. However, the apps did not provide the aforementioned services and pocketed the victim’s money. What’s more, those applications displayed fake minimum account balances to delude the users. Ioannis Gasparis – Lookout mobile app security researcher noted:
“These apps were able to fly under the radar because they don’t actually do anything malicious. They are simply shells set up to attract users caught up in the cryptocurrency craze and collect money for services that don’t exist.”
Lookout revealed that 25 out of the 172 fake apps were available for download on Google Play. Subsequently, the cybersecurity firm launched a combined initiative with Google and removed the applications from the platform. Still, the cybersecurity firm warned that hundreds of them are available for download on third-party app stores.
BTC Scam Stole The Life Savings of a British Woman
CryptoPotato recently reported about the case of Teresa Jackson – a retired teacher from Portishead, Somerset. The 63-year-old got impressed by a Bitcoin investment plan advertised on Instagram and started contemplating whether to place some of her funds in it.
Shortly after entering the mysterious project, she was contacted by an individual who claimed to be a financial advisor with substantial knowledge about Bitcoin. The anonymous man supposedly sounded very thrust-worthy and persuaded Jackson to invest £120,000, which was actually her pension pot and life savings.
She sent the money and tried to check what happened with her investment. Unfortunately, there was no answer from the “advisor,” and the funds were irrevocably gone:
“I felt embarrassed and stupid. My family trusted me to know what I was doing. I am on Universal Credit now, simple as that. I’m comfortable but I can’t have the life I used to have.”
Ms. Jackson received back half of her money from her bank when she informed them about the scam. However, the institution was unable to restore the full amount because she transferred the cash herself.