Currently, Google banned eight malicious apps on their Play Store that were scamming innocent users by promising them returns on huge investments. These apps functioned as a crypt-currency mining software that asked for small investments and, from the users, investments of up to USD 15 (approximately Rs. 1,115). After this, these apps were used to promise great returns and profits. However, the users did not get anything out of the investment, essentially scamming them into spending more money to mine more cryptocurrency. In reality, the users were losing money. So, the victims were deceived into watching ads and spending money thinking that they are mining cryptocurrency and earning money.
Trend Micro, a security firm, reported the malicious activities of the eight apps to Google. Making Google swing its hammer of justice onto the fake mining apps. The following eight apps responsible include BitFunds, Bitcoin Miner, Bitcoin (BTC), Crypto Holic, Daily Bitcoin Rewards, Bitcoin 2021, MineBit Pro, and Ethereum (ETH). All of the apps claimed to be cloud-mining applications that promised returns and profits to vulnerable consumers. Some apps also charged a considerable sum just for downloading them.
Another report by Trend Micro also suggests that there are approximately more than 120 fake cryptocurrency mining applications on the Play Store. The company also stated that apps like these have affected around 4500 users and more globally and are a severe problem when it comes to the financial safety of consumers. Additionally, these apps are banned by Google from the Play Store; however, some users still might have them. It is advised to delete them immediately before facing more financial loss.
Some ways a user can recognize a fake crypto mining application:
It is always advisable to read the application reviews, as the developers of the fake apps tend to pay for fake reviews which are 5-star rated; however, the 1-star rated reviews highlight the actual truth of the application if it is fake.
Another way a user can avoid this is by identifying if the app offers free withdrawals, and if that is the case, the user should steer away immediately. An offer of free withdrawals is super unrealistic when it comes to the cloud mining sector.
Usually, these fake apps also accept fake crypto-wallet addresses while registering, so a user can put in a fake crypto-wallet address if the app accepts it. The cloud mining app is fake, and the user should immediately delete it as these apps are primarily incapable of verifying crypto-wallet addresses.
If a person restarts their device after the app starts running and post-restart it stops functioning, it is implausible that the cloud mining app is legitimate.
Staying safe on the Play Store is quite a struggle, as multiple apps like these are out there to deceive consumers in return for money, data, and much more. However, following proper steps and being aware constantly can be super helpful for the consumer. So taking the right steps on the platform can help a user go a long way without being scammed.