Google’s app store is 8 positions lighter today after many misleading cryptocurrency apps were kicked off the platform.
A handful of illegal apps have been removed and banned from the Google PlayStore after they were found to mislead users. According to research firm Trend Micro, more than 120 similar apps
are still available on the Google store.
Business Insider cites a source report from Trend Micro that states
Although these apps do not include any cloud mining operations or have any cryptocurrency mining features, some of them make users pay for enhanced cryptocurrency mining capabilities through in-app billing systems. These amounts range from $14.99 to as much as $189.99.
According to a study conducted by Trend Micro, each of the banned apps worked in the same way. Users were forced to watch video ads
to supposedly mine cryptocurrency and had to pay $15 per month for the service. The apps also offered the option to pay more to buy a cryptocurrency mining platform and get more rewards.
Trend Micro added that two of these apps, Crypto Holic and Daily Bitcoin Rewards, are paid apps that users must purchase.
Fake apps still remain on Google
Undoubtedly, 8 banned apps is a step in the right direction. However, the Trend Micro report reveals that they are just the tip of the iceberg. According to
research, if you search for “cloud mining” in Google Play, many similar apps will appear. Moreover, some of them have been downloaded over 100,000 by unsuspecting users.
Moreover, data from Trend Micro says that up to 120 such fake cryptocurrency mining apps are still available on PlayStore and elsewhere. The report then adds:
These apps, which have no cryptocurrency mining capabilities and trick users into viewing in-app ads, affected more than 4,500 users worldwide from July 2020 to July 2021.
Trend Micro shares some tips for consumers to recognize and avoid these fake mining apps. The first tip is to read reviews on the Google PlayStore. The company suggests:
Fake apps will receive numerous 5-star reviews upon their public release. However, don’t fall for them as they may be fake and paid reviews.
He also says that you should look out for one-star reviews as they are more likely to be from real users.
Another step to take to check the validity of these apps is to enter an incorrect wallet address. The study revealed that most of the malicious apps process wallets only for “non empty” values. This means that the app accepts wallet addresses even if they are invalid.
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