The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning about a fake cryptocurrency app that is defrauding investors.” The FBI has identified 244 victims and estimates the approximate losses associated with this activity to be $42.7 million,” the U.S. law enforcement agency said.
FBI Crypto App Alert
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) cyber division issued a notice on Monday warning investors and financial institutions about cryptocurrency app scams. The notice states.
The FBI is warning financial institutions and investors about cybercriminals creating fraudulent cryptocurrency investment applications (apps) to defraud cryptocurrency investors.
The FBI explains that it has observed cybercriminals contacting U.S. investors purporting to offer legitimate crypto investment services. The criminals then convinced the investors to download a fraudulent mobile app.
The notice continues.
The FBI has identified 244 victims and estimates the approximate loss associated with this activity to be $42.7 million.
One scheme cited by the FBI as an example was executed between December 2021 and May of this year. Cybercriminals posed as legitimate U.S. financial institutions. They persuaded victims to download a fake app and deposit cryptocurrency into a wallet associated with the victim’s account on the app. When the victim attempted to withdraw the funds, they were asked to pay taxes. After paying, however, they still could not withdraw the money.
Another similar scheme, which operated under the name Yibit, ran from October 2021 until May of this year. Victims were asked to download the Yibit app, deposit cryptocurrency, and pay taxes before withdrawing. After paying, however, they remained unable to withdraw their funds.
The third example provided by the FBI was a scheme that ran during November 2021: cybercriminals operating under the company name Supayos, aka Supay, asked victims to download the Supay app and deposit into their Supay accounts They instructed them to deposit multiple cryptos into their Supay accounts. The scammers then told one victim that he was enrolled in a program that required a minimum balance of $900K without his consent. When the victim attempted to cancel his subscription, he was told to either deposit the requested funds or freeze all assets.
The FBI advised financial institutions and investors who believed they had been defrauded through the fake crypto investment app to contact the Bureau through the Internet Crime Complaint Center or their local FBI field office.
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