Several Phony Crypto Apps Defrauded Investors of More Than $42 Million
On Jul 21, 2022
In the latest cryptocurrency-related scam, dozens of fraudulent applications have managed to steal more than $42 million from unsuspecting investors. The apps, which are available on both Google Play and the App Store, pose as legitimate cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges but instead fleece users of their money.
The FBI highlighted a warning to consumers about fraud crypto applications that have defrauded more than 200 people of approximately $40 million since October 2021.
The apps, which purport to offer investment opportunities in cryptocurrencies, have instead been used to steal funds from unsuspecting investors. In some cases, the apps have also been used to distribute malware. The FBI is urging consumers to exercise caution when considering any type of cryptocurrency investment and to research any app or website before providing any personal or financial information.
Two major instances of crypto-related scams are also reported, one of which cost investors $5 million and the other $3.5 million. In the first case, YiBit scammers used the organization’s name to dupe victims into sending them money. The scammers were successful in withdrawing about $5 million before they were caught.
In the second case, individuals pretended to be representatives of a legitimate U.S. financial institution and managed to scam investors out of $3.5 million. These cases highlight the need for caution when dealing with cryptocurrencies, as scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods.
Another app, called Supayos, or Supay, asked its users to deposit funds, the app froze the funds of one user and the reason was that the minimum amount is $900,000. The founder of the app is being charged with three counts of money laundering and one count of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison for each money laundering charge and up to 30 years for the wire fraud charge.
According to the FBI, more than 98% of millennials and 99% of Generation Z utilize mobile banking apps regularly. Crypto fraudsters are taking advantage of this trend by targeting victims through unsolicited investment opportunities. The fraudsters will often send links to download an app that appears to be from a legitimate investment firm. However, the app is actually a phishing tool that will collect victims’ personal information and financial details. The FBI advises investors to only download investment apps from trusted sources and to never provide personal or financial information to unsolicited requests. Crypto fraud is a growing problem, and the FBI’s warning is a reminder to be vigilant when it comes to online investment opportunities.
According to the FBI, scammers will typically impersonate a legitimate crypto exchange or wallet provider in order to try and trick victims into sending them cryptocurrency. The scammer will often promise to double the victim’s crypto, or offer some other type of financial incentive, in order to get them to send over their digital assets. Once the victim has sent over their crypto, the scammer will then quickly disappear, leaving the victim out of pocket. In order to avoid becoming a victim of crypto fraud, the FBI recommends that you only deal with legitimate exchanges and wallet providers. You should verify that an app and organization are legitimate before giving them any sensitive information.