- Fake cryptocurrency apps often work by tricking users into downloading them, either through deceptive adverts or by impersonating a legitimate app
- Fake cryptocurrency apps have affected as many users (14%) as fake cryptocurrency exchanges
- It is essential always to do your research and only download apps from official app stores such as the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store
Fake cryptocurrency apps often trick users into downloading them through deceptive ads or posing as legitimate apps. Fake cryptocurrency apps have affected just as many users (14%) as fake cryptocurrency exchanges. Always be aware and only download apps from official app stores like the Google Play Store or Apple App Store is important.
Detecting fake cryptocurrency apps can be challenging, as scammers constantly find new ways to trick unsuspecting users into downloading malware or giving away their private information. According to a recent press release from the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, 58% of cryptocurrency users have fallen prey to cybercrime or crypto scams. With the popularity of cryptocurrencies on the rise, it’s more important than ever to be able to identify fake apps and protect yourself from fraud. Here are some tips for spotting fake crypto apps.
How fake cryptocurrency apps work
Fake cryptocurrency apps often work by tricking users into downloading them, either through deceptive adverts or by impersonating a legitimate app. Once installed, the app can ask for sensitive information, such as passwords or private keys, that can be used to steal money from the user’s existing cryptocurrency accounts.
In other cases, fake cryptocurrency apps might promise high returns for “investing” in a particular asset. Still, these returns are generated through a Ponzi scheme where early investors are paid with later investors’ funds. Once the scammer has collected enough funds, they will disappear, and the app will stop functioning, leaving the remaining investors with nothing.
Worrying trends in crypto security
In a report published on the Kaspersky blog, some alarming revelations about the state of crypto security were made. The study behind the report included 12000 participants from 16 countries. Virtual theft, like fake crypto apps (27%) and crypto scams (26%), caused more harm to users than hacking or cryptojacking (5%). Fake cryptocurrency apps have affected as many users (14%) as fake cryptocurrency exchanges. Only giveaway scams (17%) and crypto investment scams (16%) ranked higher in the survey.
How to spot a fake cryptocurrency app
Avoid downloading crypto apps from third-party sources
Only download apps from the official app store or company website. Downloading from third-party sources increases the risk of downloading a fake app or malware. Scammers often create fake app stores or upload fake apps to legitimate apps, so it’s important to only download from trusted sources.
Check the developer’s name
The second step in spotting a fake crypto app is to look at the developer’s name in the app store. Ensure the developer’s name belongs to a legitimate company and is not a pseudonym. If the developer name is vague or doesn’t match the company’s official name, it’s a red flag, and you should be wary of downloading the app.
Verify the crypto app’s legitimacy
Do a Google search for the app and see if it has been reported as a scam or if there are any negative reviews. Look for reviews from trusted sources such as tech blogs or forums to get a more accurate picture. If the app has a low rating or there are many negative reviews, it’s best to steer clear.
Look for inconsistencies
If the app’s logo or design elements don’t match the company’s official website, it may be a fake app. Check the spelling of the app’s name and look for any inconsistencies with the company’s official branding. Scammers often create fake apps that look similar to the real thing, so be sure to pay close attention to the details. These are created in a hurry or poorly and may contain tell-tale signs of scams.
Check the app’s permissions
Another critical factor to consider is the app’s permissions. Be wary of apps that ask for permissions that seem excessive or unnecessary. For example, a crypto wallet app shouldn’t need access to your camera or contacts. If the app asks for permissions that don’t make sense, it’s a red flag, and you should think twice before downloading.
Check for reviews from real users
Reading reviews from real users can give you a good idea of the app’s legitimacy. If most reviews are positive, it’s a good sign that the app is legitimate. However, if most reviews are negative or seem fake, it’s best to steer clear. Read reviews from various sources to understand the crypto app’s reputation.
Use multi-factor authentication
If the app offers multi-factor authentication, enable it to add an extra layer of security to your account. Multi-factor authentication requires an additional step, such as entering a code sent to your phone, to access your account. This helps to prevent unauthorized access and improves security.
Check for encryption
Make sure the app uses encryption to protect your information and funds. Encryption is a method of scrambling data so that it is unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the key to unlock it. Look for apps that use industry-standard encryption methods, such as AES-256, to ensure the highest level of security.
Check the app’s functionality
It may be a fake if the app is complicated or does not work as expected. Legitimate crypto apps are designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, so if the app seems clunky or unreliable, it may be a fake.
Research the company
Finally, do some research on the company behind the crypto app. Google searches for reviews, and checking websites that list scam crypto websites and apps can help. In many cases, the fake crypto app is created to look just like the real crypto app.
It is essential always to do your research. Download apps from official app stores such as the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Exercise caution when granting access to sensitive information such as passwords or private keys. It’s also a good idea to check user reviews and look for information about the app’s developer before downloading it. It’s essential to be vigilant when downloading cryptocurrency apps to avoid falling victim to scams. By following these tips, you can protect yourself and your assets from fake apps and ensure that you are using a legitimate and secure app. Remember always to do your research and trust your instincts if something seems too good to be true.