Here’s What You Need to Know
Crypto mining is on the rise. It has been exponentially increasing over the last few years and can be considered a volatile market. And because of its exploding potential, many users are joining the bandwagon to get a piece of the pie.
As tempting as that sounds, you still need to be cautious about the crypto mining scams directed at Android users.
Android Crypto-Mining Scams: Overview
Scammers have started to make fake crypto mining apps for Android to target the craze of cryptocurrency mining. These are available for all users, and some even managed to remain undetected at the Play Store.
Moreover, some of the apps are premium, i.e. paid-for. So, even if you figure out something’s wrong with it later, you would have already lost some money there.
While Google has successfully removed some dangerous apps, the question remains: is the Play Store completely safe?
Unlike the vast majority of malicious apps, fake crypto mining apps do not necessarily perform any suspicious activities. They focus on luring the users into making payments in some form, which looks legit, but you will not be getting any of that back.
Here’s How Scam Crypto Mining Apps Work
First, they present a cloud mining service that promises you convenience and easy returns for opting in. You do not have to invest in hardware to get the computing power needed to mine coins, so that sounds pretty amazing, right?
While cloud crypto mining is not an illegal service, it is not a successful business model yet.
And the number of such services is super limited. Hence, the fake applications claim to connect you with a cloud mining service that does not exist.
Once you install a fraudulent app and sign up for it, you can expect a dashboard of the sort that displays a hash rate for mining. Usually, the hash rate is a low figure which is not rewarding at first. So it prompts you to upgrade the cloud hardware to improve the hash rate and get better rewards.
In some cases, these fake crypto mining applications also offer subscriptions and thereby promise better rewards.
Types of Fake Cloud Mining Apps
As per the initial reports by Lookout security, they categorize these applications as BitScam and CloudScam. The payments happen using Google Play in-app purchases, so you may think that everything about this payment is legit.
This is primarily the case with CloudScam apps.
When it comes to BitScam mining apps, they support payments using Bitcoin and Ethereum. And this is the only difference between the two.
While there can be other means of payment, they tend to offer a legit payment gateway to gain your trust when making the deposit.
How to Stay Safe From Fake Cryptocurrency Android Apps
There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re cautious about crypto mining apps on Android devices.
Here are some of the pointers:
- Go through app reviews—not just the relevant reviews, but explore the recent reviews as well.
- Make sure that the developer is reputable or has another app that is well-regarded.
- Even though some apps may slip through the Play Store’s safety checks, you should still stick to the official Android store.
- Keep an eye out for permissions and settings prompted by the app.
- Look for terms and conditions. A fake app is highly unlikely to have detailed terms and conditions.
Cryptocurrency Services Attract Malicious Actors
The cryptocurrency craze is not going away anytime soon. So, with any cryptocurrency services you find online, take extra steps to verify and ensure that they’re not scams.
While Google Play Store needs to up its game when it comes to what it allows, you need to be proactive when installing a new app too.
Fake crypto mining apps are becoming more common but are still relatively new. They could evolve and could look to be more promising in the future. It is best to stay cautious at all times.
These Android apps are extremely popular, but they also compromise your security and privacy. If you have them installed, you’ll want to uninstall them after reading this.
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