Fake cryptocurrency apps scammed investors for $ 42.7 million

Fake cryptocurrency apps scammed investors for $ 42.7 million

Fake cryptocurrency apps defrauded 244 investors worth over $ 42.7 million. This is supported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the government agency of the federal police of the United States, which in a report published on Monday 18 July warns US investors about cryptocurrency applications that pretend to be financial institutions or companies of investment using well-known logos or names to defraud investors.

“The FBI has observed cybercriminals contacting US investors, claiming to offer legitimate cryptocurrency investment services and convincing investors to download fraudulent mobile apps, which cybercriminals have used with increasing success over time to defraud investors of their cryptocurrency, ”the report reads.

The tactics used by cybercriminals vary but follow a fairly precise pattern, posing as a legitimate company, convincing their users to deposit their cryptocurrencies and then disappearing. The fraudulent investment company of YiBit, responsible for fraud activities totaling $ 5.5 million, works by convincing its users to download the company's official application and deposit their cryptocurrencies. After the deposit, users receive an email stating that, in order to regain access to the funds, it is necessary to pay taxes on their investments and from there, whether the tax is paid or not, it becomes impossible to withdraw their assets.

In another case, responsible for $ 3.7 million fraud against 28 individuals, some individuals pretend to be a legitimate US financial institution that the report does not mention, persuade users to download the one they is presented as the company's official application, and using the same formula as YiBit, they prevent users from withdrawing deposited funds.

According to a study on the propensity to use digital banking services conducted by Chase, the commercial bank of JPMorgan, in 2021, more than 99% of Generation Z and more than 98% of millennials are using digital banking services, and even among the boomers, or people born between 1946 and 1964, the percentage is close to 70%. Cybercrime banking is therefore an increasingly important issue, and the FBI has seen fit to offer advice and recommendations, both for financial institutions to protect their image and for investors to be careful whenever they make a deposit.