Security researchers over at Lookout Threat Lab have spotted 170 Android apps that have been involved in crypto mining scams. What’s interesting is that 26 of those apps were available on the Play Store.
Lookout says that these apps actually “advertise themselves as providing cloud cryptocurrency mining services for a fee”. Following a detailed analysis, Lookout discovered that no cloud crypto mining actually takes place.
It seems like scammers are just taking advantage of the fact the valuation of cryptocurrencies rose exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are always looking for a way to scam people.
Google has removed apps that have been involved in crypto mining scams
It is worth noting that Google removed those 26 apps from the Play Store. Lookout also wanted to point out that customers of Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security and Lookout Personal Digital Safety are protected from these threats.
According to the source, 86,000 people got scammed by these apps, as the scammers stole at least $350,000 as part of it. That money was scammed out of people as they paid for the apps themselves, or for additional fake upgrades and services.
These types of apps are actually different than your regular malware apps. They usually don’t do anything malicious, per se, they do however collect money for services that don’t exist. Lookout singled out BitScam and CloudScam as examples of that.
Cryptocurrencies have managed to become really popular in the last couple of years. We’ve seen all sorts of changes in the market, and many people managed to profit from them.
Be careful when it comes to mining & trading cryptocurrencies
You do have to be careful, though. Paying for apps and services you don’t know are legit will only lead you to lose money. Quite a few people got burned by these scam apps, so be careful what you install on your phone, and what you pay for. Chances are we’ll keep seeing such scams, in fact, chances are there will be more of them going forward.