New Delhi: UK based security software and hardware company, Sophos recently identified over 150 fraudulent Android and iOS apps who intend to rob financial information of users along with their funds. They further said that such apps disguise themselves as one of the well known finance, banking and cryptocurrency apps and services. The company also found that all such apps send data to a common single server which suggests that there is one major group behind this fake operation.
As of now these fraud apps are exploiting the current market scenario that has seen an increased interest in trading apps due to the spectacular increase in the price of some of the cryptocurrencies. There is also an increase in interest for free or low cost stock trading.
Sophos said in their news posts that during the investigation of on such fraudulent app they came across a server that hosted several fake banking, trading, forex and crytocurrency apps. The posts said, “Among them were counterfeit apps impersonating major financial firms and popular cryptocurrency trading platforms, including Barclays, Gemini, Bitwala, Kraken, Binance, BitcoinHK, Bittrex, BitFlyer, and TDBank. Each of these fake apps had a dedicated website tailored to the impersonated brand to better fool potential victims.”
Moreover, the posts also highlighted the extent to which these scammers are going in order to make their victims download these apps. In one such incident one of the victim was targeted through a social media dating site. The actor “befriended the victim, and shifted communications to a messaging app.
They avoid requests for face-to-face meetings, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. After gaining trust, they then convinced the victim to download a cryptocurrency trading app, sending the victim a link.” After the victim was lured to download the app on their device, they were convinced or encouraged by the actor to buy some cryptocurrency. Once the transaction was complete the scammers blocked the account of the victim and left.
The bottom line is do not trust anyone online no matter how genuine they seem. Also refrain from downloading such banking fore apps from anywhere except the Google Play store or Apple’s app store. Do not pay attention to the malicious links which also consist of a download link.