Online Scams

170 Bitcoin Mining Apps Identified as Crypto Scams-How to Spot the Signs

Bitcoin Mining Apps Identified as Crypto Scams

Crypto scams have increased dramatically in the last couple of years. Social media bitcoin scams and fake ICOs are common varieties. In addition, cryptocurrency products, such as mining apps can rob clients of money and never delivered their promised service. Recently, researchers at the Lookout Threat Lab have identified 170 Android crypto-mining apps as fraudulent. 

Of these 170, 25 are sold on GooglePlay. Consumers who believe that everything sold on GooglePlay or Apple Store is safe may be lured into a false sense of security. 

To be fair, GooglePlay removed these apps once they were found to be fraudulent, but there is no guarantee that more on the platform may not be found to be fake.  It is important to check the mining app before purchasing. 

These apps lured those interested in cryptocurrency to get involved in mining the asset and charge a fee for the service only to refuse to deliver on these services or not allowing customers to withdraw their funds. 

Whether you are dealing with a crypto scam, a forex scam, or a disagreement with a broker or merchant, fund recovery may be your goal. It is important to report the fraud to authorities and to enlist the aid of a fund recovery service to try to retrieve your funds. 

Trader Defense Advisory experts consult with people who have lost money through a crypto scams, hacking, or a forex trading scam. Contact TDA experts who are experienced in dealing with all types of scams and can help you with every phase of fund recovery.  

What is Crypto Mining and What Does it Have to Do with Crypto Scams? 

Although crypto scams try to make cryptocurrency sounds easy, crypto mining actually is complex and involves intense operation and energy. Crypto mining involves doing extremely complicated mathematical problems on state-of-the-art computers. 

The energy required to solve these problems can be expensive and can leave a significant carbon footprint. However, those who are successful with the mining process are rewarded with crypto coins. Given the current valuation of cryptocurrencies, crypto coins can be quite valuable and as of July 2021, each bitcoin is worth $31,170. 

The complexity, expense, and amount of energy expended on data mining seems oversimplified on these fake crypto mining apps. A thorough analysis of the fake crypto-mining apps shows that they have a similar type of code and design. To capture the complexity of data mining, legitimate apps have complex code and they may vary in their design. 

There are various types of fraudulent products. Some apps contain malware or spyware that is injected into user devices to extract data. Others are meant to be actual data mining apps but they do not work properly. 

Most of the fraudulent apps that were discovered in the Lookout Threat report did not have malware and were not defective versions of actual apps, but were not designed to do anything at all but offer false information. 

The one thing these apps do effectively is collect upfront fees or offer subscriptions to new customers. Because they offer the Google Play in-app billing system, they can create a false impression of legitimacy. 

The app will then present false information to the user about the progress of data mining and how many coins the user has. The number of coins that are generated are kept low to encourage people to upgrade their service. These upgrades can cost between $21 to $225. 

The creators of this crypto scam are determined to prevent any customers from withdrawing their money. They will either manipulate the number of coins earned or create a pop-up message that they have not reached the maximum amount needed to withdraw their coins. They will then be encouraged to further upgrade their accounts and tools with the false hope of mining more coins. 

The takeaway is that the most common types of data mining app crypto scams feature tools that do nothing but accept money from users, display false information and encourage them to keep making upgrades, or spending more money. These fake apps will also prevent these customers from making withdrawals. 

How to Avoid Crypto Mining App Scams

There are so many crypto scams and mining app frauds out there that some may wonder if cryptocurrencies are worth getting involved in. However, just like the internet itself, a place where there are many dangers, crypto apps can be safe if you take precautions. Here are some things to keep in mind. 

  • Find out who developed the app
  • Download the app directly from the developer’s store
  • Look at terms and conditions carefully
  • Read reviews from trusted technology publications
  • Beware of suspicious issues, such as changing coin amounts, sudden crashing

One of the best ways to validate the authenticity of any service is to find out information about who developed it. This requires some research, but it is worth the effort. Since there are many fraudulent apps are sold on GoogleApps and Apple Store, it is best to purchase the app directly from the developer’s website. 

Read through terms and conditions carefully. Fake apps may not even have terms and conditions, so avoid any product without these. Reviews can be a guide towards reliable products, but keep in mind that some review sites may have fake reviews. Check out reviews on trusted technology sites. 

Fake apps will reset the coin amounts, crash frequently, or will ask the user for permissions for things that an app doesn’t need to access. If you have been had money stolen by a fake crypto mining app or other crypto scams, it is essential to report the incident and seek advice from a fund recovery service.

Has Your Money Been Stolen by a Crypto Scam, Talk to TDA Experts Today

If you have been cheated by a crypto scam, contact Trader Defense Advisory. Our team of experts has vast combined experience dealing with identity theft, forex trading scams, crypto scams, and other scams. Consult with us and we will create a claim and help you get started on the path to retrieving your funds. 

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Half of SMBs Targeted by Cyber Attacks: 7 Ways to Keep Your Business Safe

There is no safe haven from cyber attacks on the internet. You may know someone whose social media account was hacked and we often read headlines on attacks on major corporations, but recently SMBs are the target. About half of small to medium businesses (SMBs) are targets of phishing and malware. 

Intrusive cybercrime through phishing and malware, along with crypto scams and forex trading scams are major threats. It is estimated that if global cybercrime were a country, its GDP would be third after the US and China’s. 

Many of these hackers are trying to gain access to client accounts and data so they can commit identity theft. The hacking often results in unauthorized transactions, stolen bitcoin and even manipulation of bank accounts. As a result, even customers who have taken precautions in their own lives may become vulnerable to identity theft simply because their data was stored by an SMB that got hacked. Therefore, the need for fund recovery services is crucial to fight the current threat. 

Trader Defense Advisory experts consult with people and companies who have lost money through phishing, malware, a crypto scam or a forex trading scam. Contact TDA experts who are experienced in dealing with all types of scams and can help you with every phase of fund recovery.  

The High Price of Cybercrme for SMBs

Many people have been affected by cybercrime. They may notice uanuthorized charges on their credit card or that their Facebook account has been hacked. Some experience more in-depth identity theft. Someone may start using their bank account and even claim government benefits in their name. 

Cybercriminals often go after individuals, but like pirates, they would rather capture an entire ship full of people with treasure than an individual boat. That is why cybercriminals are increasingly attacking small to medium businesses. 

The rate of these attacks has increased dramatically in the past few years. By the end of 2021, an SMB will be hacked every 11 seconds. Many of these attacks are minor but some can be catastrophic. It is estimated that 60% of all businesses that experience a major hacking or ransomware attack go out of business within 6 months. 

Ways Cybercriminals Attack SMBs

  1. Mass Emails
  2. Spear Phishing
  3. Social Engineering or Impersonation
  4. Low-Tech Methods–Fake Call

These are just a few of the ways cybercriminals gain access to the networks within an SMB. One way is through a mass email campaign. The email will target millions of people, not just within the company. They appear to be from a reputable company, such as Google or Microsoft. 

They will claim there is a problem that needs to be fixed right away. They will ask for the users’ login data or they may provide a fake login page. The reader will click a link and the malware can enter their devices. They may also input sensitive information. 

Spear Phishing works like a mass email scam, but it is focused on specific employees within a company. They may use social engineering and impersonation to pretend to be from the IT department and insist they need access to the employees’ computers or data. Sometimes, they will use low-tech methods such as calling. Since most people expect cyber attacks, the phone can throw them off. 

Steps to Take to Avoid These Attacks

There are many ways that business owners and employees can keep their SMB safe from cyber attacks

  1. Avoid clicking on links or downloading documents without checking
  2. Check the Domain Name
  3. If it is a call, call back
  4. Require two-step verification
  5. Upgrade anti-virus software regularly
  6. Verify that the department or organization sent this communication
  7. Do an online search

Many people understand the dangers of clicking on links or downloading documents from unknown senders. However, given the increasing sophistication of phishing techniques and social engineering scams that involve impersonation, it is important to be careful of communications even from senders we think we know. Check carefully before clicking or downloading

One way to verify that the communication is genuine is to check the domain name. Often people overlook this but only later notice that the sender or domain name was not the usual one. Also, do an online search of the subject lines of emails. This works for mass phishing campaigns since there are usually online reports warning people not to respond to emails with certain subject lines. 

Don’t have a false sense of security about the phone. If someone who seems to be within the company calls and asks for information, take their number down and call them back to verify. Also if you are unsure that the communication you received was genuine, call the department and confirm they sent you something. This also works for companies and government organizations who seemed to have sent you something. 

To stay safe, requiring a two-step verification is essential. It is relatively easy for a hacker to steal a password, but also asking for the person to type in a code sent directly to their device as a second step enhances security. Also, ensure that all employees are using the latest version of anti-virus software. With many workers telecommuting, out-of-date anti-virus software puts company information at risk. 

Fund Recovery After a Cyber Attack

Despite your best efforts, a ransomware or malware attack may happen. It is essential in this case to file a report to authorities immediately and begin the process of fund recovery. The future of a business may depend on how it handles these crises and how effectively it recovers client and company funds after a cyber attack. 

If you have been affected by a cyberattack and identity theft, Talk to TDA Experts Today

If you have been the target and have lost funds in a cyberattack, contact Trader Defense Advisory. Our team of experts has vast combined experience dealing with identity theft, forex trading scams, crypto scams, and scams. Consult with us and we will create a claim and help you get started on the path to retrieving your funds. 

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How Authorities Can Unmask Crypto Scams on the Blockchain

The number of crypto scams has been skyrocketing. According to CBS News, there has been a 1,000% increase in crypto scams between October 2020 and June 2021. There are several reasons for this rising trend, including the pandemic and increased internet use. However, one reason cyber criminals use cryptocurrencies for their frauds is they don’t believe it can be traced on the blockchain. 

Although the blockchain in practice is usually anonymous, authorities can unmask the identities of people on the blockchain in a cybercrime investigation. The FBI,  in the case of the Colonial Pipeline investigation, secured a court order to see the bitcoin codes of the suspects. Additionally, advanced technology, collaboration with companies and following the path of financial transactions. 

Many crypto scammers are getting a nasty surprise when law enforcement tracks them down on the blockchain. In addition, those who were victims of crypto scams and had given up on getting their money back are being pleasantly surprised. If you have lost money to a forex trading scams or crypto scams, it is important to report the incident, file a complaint and use the services of a company that are experts at fund recovery. 

Trader Defense Advisory experts will help you evaluate whether an opportunity is legit or fake. If you have lost money to a crypto scam or a forex trading scam, contact TDA experts who are experienced in dealing with all types of scams and can help you seek justice. 

How the FBI Tracked Down the Twitter Hackers

Twitter users were shocked when they found out in 2020 that the accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Barack Obama were taken over by hackers who robbed people in a bitcoin scam. They were evern more surprised to learn that the mastermind behind this scam was just 17 years old.

While most people know that teenagers often have sophsticated technical knowledge, the extent of the hack and the kind of accounts that were taken over was newsworthy. 

However, what was also worthy of note but perhaps many people who followed the story did not realize was that, with the cooperation of Coinbase and Twitter, the amount of total money that was stolen was limited to just $118,000 because they caught the scam early and prevented many transactions from going through. 

Additionally, the FBI was able to track down and uncover the people behind this Twitter crypto scam relatively quickly. The were able to accomplish this through cooperation with Twitter, Coinbase, and Discord which provided the information they had about the suspects and the transactions.

 Law enforcement was able to trace the crypto scam mastermind Graham Clark to other bitcoin frauds. Also, advanced technology has made it easier and faster to help investigators identify who is behind crypto scams. 

Fund Recovery in the Colonial Pipeline Scam

It was like a scenario from a disaster film, but unfortunately, the situation was all too real. One of the largest pipelines in the US, the Colonial Pipeline, was sabotaged with ransomware. The company in charge was told by the cybercriminals that they must give them $4.4 million in bitcoin before they would release their control of the pipeline. 

As many areas of the country were facing the potential of fuel shortages as the result of this ransomware attack, the Colonial company paid the ransom. This was a controversial decision because many people were skeptical about the ability to track down the scammers. However, the FBI in just a few weeks after the event has managed to recover $2.7 million of the $4.4 million and the fund recovery is still in progress. 

So why do so many people think that fund recovery is not possible in crypto scams and what steps are law enforcement taking to track down scammers?

How Law Enforcement and Fund Recovery Services Track Down Crypto Scams?

The blockchain provides some visibility because it records all transactions. However, these transactions are connected to codes rather than names, so technically they are anonymous. However, when investigating crypto sams, authorities and fund recovery services have strategies for tracking down lost funds and cybercriminals. 

  • Advanced technology
  • Cooperation with tech platforms and companies
  • Court orders for access to bitcoin codes
  • Assistance from fund recovery companies

Law enforcement has at its disposal technology, cybercrime experts, and cooperation from platforms and companies that can help them locate transactions on the blockchain and uncover identities. The expression “follow the money” often works well in these investigations. Not only does law enforcement have their own technology, but they leverage private tech experts to assist them. 

The teenage Twitter hacker was found through information from Discord, Coinbase, and Twitter working together with the FBI to provide evidence. This cooperation can help law enforcement track down crypto scammers quickly. 

Even information these companies are not free to give out, such as actual bitcoin codes, can be secured by law enforcement through a court order. This information is carefully protected in regular situations, but in the context of a criminal investigation, it can be uncovered. 

In addition, fund recovery companies like Trader Defense Advisory contribute their research and investigative techniques to help law enforcement track down cybercriminals. We consult with clients, collect a detailed account from the victim of a crypto scam and create intelligence reports that can aid investigators in uncovering the cyrpto scam and the people behind it. 

This is one reason it is important for everyone who has been targeted by a crypto scam to report the incident and provide evidence. Often these fraudsters will have several rackets going and the more information authorities have, the easier it will be to catch cyber criminals and to achieve fund recovery. 

Have You Lost Money in a Crypto Scam? Talk to TDA Experts Today

If you have been the target of a scam, contact Trader Defense Advisory. Our team of experts has vast combined experience dealing with forex trading scams, crypto scams and other frauds. Consult with us and we will create a claim and help you get started on the path to retrieving your funds.