- An FBI report says that fake crypto apps have scammed 244 investors of more than $40 million.
- In most cases, con artists persuaded a victim to download an app with the same trademarks as a real company.
- Cybercriminals are now focusing on crypto wallets and blockchain bridges, which enable users to transfer virtual money across networks.
After cybercriminals stole over $40 million from investors in the United States while masquerading as reputable businesses, the FBI is warning the general public about fake cryptocurrency investing applications.
The #FBI warns financial institutions and investors about cybercriminals creating fraudulent cryptocurrency investment applications to defraud cryptocurrency investors. This scheme has resulted in an estimated $42.7 million in losses to date. Read more at https://t.co/ClCBP5uwAw. pic.twitter.com/Ro9GfIzT8n
— FBI (@FBI) July 20, 2022
According to the report, federal officials have discovered 244 victims of such fraudulent bitcoin applications between October last year to May this year.
In the majority of instances, it seems that the con artists had a rather easy approach, in that they would persuade a target to download an application and had the same trademarks as a legitimate cryptocurrency organization.
The hackers then convinced the user to put crypto into wallets connected with their new accounts. After that, victims couldn’t withdraw money from their wallets, and the criminals kept the money.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has advised investors in cryptocurrencies to be aware of unsolicited invitations to download investing applications, to check that an app, and the firm behind it, are authentic; and to be skeptical of apps that have restricted or broken functionality.
Even though cybercriminals have historically depended on cryptocurrencies as a form of exploitation, they are increasingly shifting their focus to exploiting crypto wallets and blockchain bridges, which are technologies that allow users to move their digital currencies from one network to the other.
In an incident that took place one month ago, hackers took advantage of a weakness in order to steal one hundred million dollars from Harmony’s Blockchain Bridge. This attack has subsequently been attributed to the Lazarus gang, which is supported by North Korea.