Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has issued a warning about fraudulent cryptocurrency applications that have so far swindled investors in the United States out of approximately $42.7 million.
According to a July 18 advisory by the securities and Intelligence Agency, cybercriminals created apps that use the same logos as legitimate crypto companies in order to defraud investors. These fake apps had already been used to defraud investors by 244 people, according to the FBI.
Cybercriminals convinced victims to download an application that had the same logo of a U.S. financial institution. They encouraged them to deposit cryptocurrency in wallets that were supposedly related to their accounts.
Victims who tried to withdraw money from the app would be required to pay taxes. This was a ruse to take more money from victims. Even if they paid the taxes, withdrawals would still be impossible.
According to the FBI, approximately $3.7 million was stolen from 28 victims between December 2021 & May 2022.
Cybercriminals also operated under the name of “YiBit”, defrauding at most four victims of approximately $5.5 million using a similar scheme of deceit.
In November 2021, criminals operated under the name of “Supay”. Two victims were defrauded by the criminals operating under the name “Supay” in November 2021. They encouraged them to deposit cryptocurrency onto their wallets via the app. If more funds weren’t deposited, they would be frozen.
Crypto Twitter has also been abuzz with warnings about fraudulent apps.
One user claimed that a friend fell for a scam on Whatsapp. The scam encouraged the victim download a fake cryptocurrency app and load funds into its wallet. The crypto app disappeared a week later.
Don’t get scammed. A #WhatsApp scam was used to lure a friend into downloading a fake crypto app. She then had to pay some money. The app disappeared about a week later and can’t be found anywhere. She didn’t go along with the “instructions” or add more.
— Sarvasatvananda, Aaron (@crypto_or_die), July 17, 2022
Another user claims they were victim to a fake LedgerLive crypto wallet app. It is allegedly called “Ledger Plus” in the Microsoft app store. According to the user, the app has already stolen $20,000 from them.
ESET, a cybersecurity firm, discovered a sophisticated scheme to distribute Trojan apps disguised as popular cryptocurrency wallets. These programs would then try to steal crypto assets.
Related: More Than $4.7M was stolen in Uniswap’s phishing attack on fake tokens
One user lost $600,000.00 in Bitcoin last year when a fraudulent cryptocurrency app disguised itself as a mobile Trezor App on Apple’s App Store.
According to the United States Federal Trade Commission’s June 2022 report, nearly half of all cryptocurrency-related scams originated from social media platforms.
The FBI recommends crypto investors to be cautious about unsolicited requests to obtain investment apps. They should verify that the app (and company) are legitimate and treat any apps with limited or broken functionality “with skepticism.”