FBI Warns US Crypto Investors of Bad Actors Tricking Victims Into Downloading Fraudulent Crypto Apps

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The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is cautioning against cybercriminals targeting crypto investors.

According to the FBI, cybercriminals are using mobile crypto asset investment apps as tools for defrauding their victims.

“The FBI is warning financial institutions and investors about cybercriminals creating fraudulent cryptocurrency investment applications (apps) to defraud cryptocurrency investors.

The FBI has observed cybercriminals contacting US investors, fraudulently claiming to offer legitimate cryptocurrency investment services, and convincing investors to download fraudulent mobile apps, which the cybercriminals have used with increasing success over time to defraud the investors of their cryptocurrency.”

The federal law enforcement agency says the bad actors are using the identifying information of legitimate businesses and creating fake websites to dupe investors.

In one of the fraud cases that netted the cybercriminals nearly $4 million in about six months, the victims were duped into downloading a fake app and depositing crypto assets on the platform.

“Between 22 December 2021 and 7 May 2022, unidentified cyber criminals purporting to be a legitimate US financial institution defrauded at least 28 victims of approximately $3.7 million.

The cybercriminals convinced victims to download an app that used the name and logo of an actual US financial institution and deposit cryptocurrency into wallets associated with the victims’ accounts on the app.

When 13 of the 28 victims attempted to withdraw funds from the app, they received an email stating they had to pay taxes on their investments before making withdrawals. After paying the supposed tax, the victims remained unable to withdraw funds.”

The cybercriminals have defrauded more than $40 million from over 200 victims so far, according to the FBI.

“The FBI has identified 244 victims and estimates the approximate loss associated with this activity to be $42.7 million.”

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