sold fake cryptocurrency apps to more than 93K people through the Google Play Store. These numbers are based on the report of Lookout, a security company based in California. The report states that the apps act as a frontend to cloud mining platforms. These apps are designed to trick users into believing they are mining cryptocurrency.
The apps actually do absolutely nothing. These apps are subtler than similar apps that siphon private information from buyers. Some of these apps were able to go unnoticed in Google’s Play Store. One hundred and fifty-five of the 175 apps that Lookout detected were in the Play Store. The other one could have been sideloaded from third party markets.
These paid apps come with expensive upgrades and subscriptions models that supposedly increase the mining performance. These apps are being monetized by scammers. By showing false numbers, users are convinced that the apps are mining currency. When they try to withdraw, the apps will give them an error message.
There are two types of Cloudscam: Bitscam and Cloudscam
Lookout split these apps into two groups: Clouscam or Bitscam. Bitscam apps accept payments in cryptocurrency like bitcoin and ethereum. This is the main difference between them. Cloudscam apps accept only Google payments. Lookout estimates that these apps have cost customers at least $350K.
Google has removed the reported apps form the Play Store. These apps are still available on third-party marketplaces. Scammers are making it easy for inexperienced people to profit from the new boom in cryptocurrency. Google is aware of this but there may be hundreds or even thousands of apps still lurking in Google Play Store.
Lookout recommends that new investors do their research before investing in a cryptocurrency mining app. Scammers are aware that inexperienced users are flooding the cryptocurrency market and will attempt to profit from this boom. Security firm suggests knowing who the developers are before purchasing these apps, only installing them from the official app, and looking at user reviews to spot any anomalies.