FBI Warns of Fake Crypto Apps, Says 244 investors have Been Defrauded

July 21, 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The significant growth in the interest in crypto among the world population has prompted cyberpunks to start using the crypto industry to scam people across the globe.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 18, warned the crypto community of scammers using fake cryptocurrency apps after 244 US investors were defrauded $42.7 million since October last year.

In the release by the FBI, these scammers are defrauding investors of crypto and mobile banking through the use of logos, names, and other information that are similar to the legitimate US business systems.

“The FBI has observed cyber criminals contacting US investors, fraudulently claiming to offer legitimate cryptocurrency investment services, and convincing investors to download fraudulent mobile apps, which the cyber criminals have used with increasing success over time to defraud the investors of their cryptocurrency,” according to the statement in the release.

In one of the crimes detected, a cyber criminals group was working under the firm’s name Yibit who is said to have defrauded investors about $5.5 million. In the release, the criminals were able to convince investors to download their apps and deposit crypto into their wallets associated with their Yibit accounts. After this, 17 of these victims were emailed that they had to pay taxes on their investment before they could withdraw their funds, while the other 4 could not withdraw their funds through the apps.

FBI also stated other two cases detected, one of which is 28 victims defrauded approximately $3.7 million, and the other is the cyber criminals informing a victim of his enrollment in a program costing $900,000 without his consent.

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FBI Issued Recommendations 

In the release by the FBI, recommendations have been issued to prevent the subsequent occurrence and hence, prevent further harm to the US investment industry.

From now on, financial institutions should proactively warn their clients regarding this activity and as well provide measures which customers can take to prevent such occurrence.

Investors have also been warned of unsolicited requests of downloading investment applications, especially from someone who they have not met before.

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