Google Play bans 8 “deceptive” crypto applications. A Trend Micro report says more than 120 fake cryptocurrency applications are still running in the Play Store. Some of them have more than 100,000 downloads.
Google has removed eight allegedly fraudulent mobile crypto apps from its store. It deceived cryptocurrency entrants by charging for illegitimate cloud mining.
Fraudulent mobile applications have now become a popular method to mislead careless users. A recent survey by Trend Micro found eight Android applications that charged a monthly fee. This under the false pretext of running a legitimate cloud mining service.
Further analysis of the issue revealed that malicious applications hosted by Google tricked several users. This into watching paid ads and paying for a non-existent cloud mining service. They were posing as cryptocurrency mining applications.
According to the report, users were charged a monthly fee of approximately $15. Also, they were subject to additional payments to enable “increased mining capabilities”. In addition, some applications required prepayment.
The allegedly fraudulent crypto applications included mining services such as BitFunds, Bitcoin Miner, Daily Bitcoin Rewards, Crypto Holic, MineBit Pro, Bitcoin 2021, and Ethereum (ETH) – Pool Mining Cloud. The list also includes a crypto wallet service called Bitcoin (BTC) – Pool Mining Cloud Wallet.
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There are many more fraudulent crypto applications
Although the above findings have been reported to Google Play and have been repetitively removed from the Play Store, Trend Micro claims to have recorded several other fraudulent applications downloaded more than 100,000 times.
“These applications, which cannot mine cryptocurrencies and fraudulently force users to track in-app ads, have more than 4,500 users worldwide. This is the number of affected people from July 2020 to July 2021.”
Advertising policies for crypto apps
On August 3, Google revised its advertising policies, which allow crypto exchanges and wallet services to market their products to Google users.
As part of this effort, advertisers must be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a United States Treasury Department that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions to combat domestic and international money laundering.
However, the established policy prevents the initial offers of coins and restricts businesses and celebrities. At the other end of the spectrum, social media giant TikTok has resorted to a total ban on crypto ads on its platform, a move similar to Google’s previous 2018 policy.
In conclusion, after three years, Google completely changed its position on cryptocurrencies.