Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are being cautioned worldwide to be wary of Android apps that promise to mine Bitcoins over the cloud. According to researchers from a private IT security agency, cybercriminals duped nearly 100,000 users into downloading fake android apps for crypto mining services.
Over 170 fake Android apps for crypto mining services, 25 apps found on Google Play, have been discovered as defrauding individuals interested in cryptocurrency, as per researchers. These applications, many of which are accessible worldwide, promote themselves as delivering cloud cryptocurrency mining services for a charge. Unfortunately, after installing and interacting with the apps, customers will discover that no cloud crypto mining transpired.
The app’s primary purpose is to commit fraud and steal funds from victims through legal payment methods while never providing the promised service. As per published reports, the scammers made at least $350,000 in total. They took $300,000 from the sale of the bogus apps and an additional $50,000 in bitcoin from victims all around the globe who purchased phony upgrades and services.
Types Of Fake Android Apps for Crypto Mining Services
These applications were divided into two groups by researchers: BitScam and CloudScam. Despite the technological differences between these two categories, all the fake Android apps utilize a similar business model. It implies that numerous criminal actors set up competing companies to target consumers in the same approach.
Although Google Play store removed the CloudScam and BitScam apps from their platform, several other apps are still accessible in third-party app shops. CloudScam and BitScam both provide crypto mining subscriptions and services that customers may pay for via the Play Store in-app billing method. BitScam is distinguished from the two as its apps accept Bitcoin and Ethereum as methods of payment. The fake Android apps for crypto mining services imitate genuine cloud mining businesses providing mobile applications to their customers.
How The Scams Unfolded
The fact that BitScam and CloudScam apps do nothing harmful allowed them to slip under the radar. They do not do much of anything. They are nothing more than facades used to collect payment for things and services that do not exist.
The deceptive prospect of renting cloud computing capacity through the apps and getting a tiny cut of each transaction confirmed enticed unwary victims. When users log onto the applications, they are shown a false, gradually increasing coin balance. In most instances, this is only incremented while the program is running in the background. It is then frequently reverted to zero when the device is rebooted, or the app is reloaded. A hash mining rate is also shown on the dashboard, which is usually extremely low to entice users to purchase upgrades that promise higher mining rates, daily prizes, and incentives for referring friends.
Users may also pay for this ‘virtual hardware’ between $12.99 and $259.99 via Google Play’s in-app payment system or by sending bitcoin to the developers’ wallet. Some CloudScam applications respond to withdrawal attempts with an ‘insufficient balance’ error message. BitScam applications, on the other hand, prevent users from extracting bitcoin until they achieve a certain minimum amount. Withdrawal attempts exceeding a minimum threshold result in a notification that falsely indicates a pending withdrawal, and the coin balance is reset to zero.
Even though all the phony BitScam and CloudScam crypto mining apps discovered on the Play Store have been removed, dozens of them are still available for purchase on third-party app shops across the web. To avoid these applications, anybody must be exceedingly careful.
To prevent becoming part of the list of individuals whom these fake Android apps have duped for crypto mining services, you must learn to avoid fake bitcoin exchanges. Only use reputable and well-known bitcoin exchanges. Explore Bitcoin communities and subscribe to legitimate RSS feeds or alerts to stay updated on the latest news about bogus exchanges. Alternatively, for fundamental investing possibilities, stick to reputable Bitcoin platforms.
Moreover, Bogus apps may be identified by their grandiose claims. They guarantee improbable returns on your money while never disclosing the hidden charge that applies to these gains. These servers are cleverly designed to defraud unwary investors. No legitimate business should be able to ensure a fixed revenue.
Always exercise caution while creating an account for cloud mining servers or downloading any crypto mining applications. Before you go online on a shared server, consider the security of your data on your system.