Crypto-currencies continue to gain popularity, but as interest grows, so does the creativity of scammers looking to capitalize on a cultural shift to rip people off. According to a Trend Micro Cyber Security Team Recent Report, there is now dozens of fake crypto mining and wallet apps on the Google Play Store trick users into paying for bogus services like mining and cloud storage.
The report specifically refers to eight applications:
- Bitcoin 2021
- Bitcoin Miner – Cloud Mining
- Bitcoin (BTC) – Cloud wallet for pool mining
- 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 and btc miner
Most of these apps were hiding one of the same two bogus mining applications, i.e. Trend Micro labeled “AndroidOS_FakeMinerPay” or “AndroidOS_FakeMinerAd”—Which trick users into paying for bogus cloud mining services, typically at a recurring monthly fee of $ 15. In fact, none of the applications actually mined or paid for cryptocurrencies to users.
Some also pushed paid ads and additional in-app purchases, and at least two of the apps – the Crypto Holic and Daily Bitcoin rewards – were premium apps that users had to purchase in order to download.
Google removed these apps from the Google Play Store following the Trend Micro report. The deleted apps are then disabled and removed from any devices they are downloaded to, but it is always wise to confirm that they are deleted from your Android phone if you have downloaded any of the apps listed above.
There are even more bogus crypto apps
Unfortunately, even after these bans (and from google revision of its own encryption policies)Trend Micro researchers say there are still over 120 other fraudulent crypto apps available on the Play Store right now. Some have been downloaded by over 100,000 users. And these applications will not be called or deleted until it has been proven that they are in fact committing some form of crypto fraud.
As we remind you every time, one of these stories of malicious applications surface, be sure to carefully check each software you download. Stick to well-known apps and developers, and be sure to read the notes and reviews—including those on trusted sites like Google play store. It is worth doing a quick internet search, too much, or even ask for a second opinion on a reliable discussion forum.
Yet malicious developers will go out of their way to make their apps legitimate. Don’t pay for any special apps, services, or features unless you are sure they are real. If you have any doubts, don’t transmit your payment information or your personal data. And if you’re already paying for an app that claims to offer cloud mining services but haven’t seen any returns, that means it’s probably bogus. Remove the app and report it immediately.