Crypto scam apps on Google Play and Apple App Store? Know how pig butchering works | Tech News

Crypto scam apps on Google Play and Apple App Store? Know how pig butchering works

Reports suggest that crypto scam apps can sometimes sneak into Google Play and Apple App Store by using loopholes. Know all about the pig butchering scam.

| Updated on: Feb 04 2023, 19:17 IST
BEWARE! Here is how NOT to check your PF balance; man loses Rs. 1.23 lakh in scam
Online scam
1/7 In a shocking turn of events, when a man was looking to check his PF balance online, he was caught by fraudsters and lost Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Reuters)
Online scam
2/7 This is how he lost money in this PF balance scam. He was searching for the EPOFO phone number on the Internet, but came across a fake phone number, according to Free Press Journal. He called it and the person there convinced him to download an app that provided the fraudster with remote access to his gadget. He also shared the code for making a payment. Before, the innocent man knew what happened, he had lost the whopping amount of Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Pixabay)
Online scam
3/7 In short, do not check PF balance by searching online and clicking on random links or talking to anyone. Just remember, EPFO will never ask you to make any payment or download any app or even ask you for any payment code or OTP. So, if you want to know how to check PF balance online, we explain it here. (HT_PRINT)
Online scam
4/7 How to check PF balance Via UMANG App - For checking PF Balance via UMANG App, you will first have to download the app and then log in by entering your UAN and OTP (one-time password) to check the PF account balance. (UMANG Twitter)
Online scam
5/7 How to check PF balance Via Text Message – EPFO members whose UANs are registered with EPFO can check their PF balance by sending a text message (SMS) to 7738299899 by typing 'EPFOHO UAN ENG' using your registered mobile number with the UAN (Universal Account Number). It can be noted that the last three digits of the message represents the language in which you want to receive the message. (Pixabay)
Online scam
6/7 How to check PF balance Via Missed Call – Members also have the option of checking the PF balance via call. Registered users can give a missed call to 011-22901406 from their UAN registered mobile number after which they will receive an SMS with details of the PF account balance. (Unsplash)
Online scam
7/7 How to check PF balance Via EPFO website - Visit the EPFO portal and click on the ‘For Employees’ option under the ‘Our Services’ dropdown menu. Click on 'Member Passbook' and enter your UAN and password. Once you do so you will be able to see your passbook. It can be noted that people who have worked in more than one organisation will have different member IDs to choose from. (MINT_PRINT)
Online scam
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Know all about the ‘pig butchering’ scam and find out how the scammers were sneaking their crypto scam apps into marketplaces. (Unsplash)

A new type of online scam has surfaced recently. Known as the “pig butchering” scam (literal translation from sha zhu pan, meaning pig butchering plate), it is a type of romance scam where a scammer would connect with the victim, usually on a dating site or a social media website, and will show romantic interest in the victim. But before too long, the fraudster would scam the victim out of all their money. But this scam is getting scarier as scammers are taking the path of crypto to easily steal the money without being tracked. And to win the trust of the victims, scammers are sneaking in fraudulent crypto apps into Google Play and Apple App Store, a cybersecurity company has found.

Researchers at the cybersecurity company Sophos have published a report where they found that earlier these scammers would find ad-hoc methods to drop these crypto apps in the victim's device but now they were getting even more malicious.

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“Recently, we discovered CryptoRom apps that defeated Apple's and Google's app-store security review processes, making their way into the official stores. Victims of the scam alerted us to the applications and shared details of the criminal operations behind them. In the process of researching the applications, we found other apps and uncovered information about the organizations behind these scam operations,” the report stated.

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Crypto scam apps sneak into Google Play and Apple App Stores

It should be noted that these scammers are experts in hacking and are involved in domain manipulation to get their apps into the marketplaces. The scammers would first submit an application with a valid certificate issued by Apple. As long as the app is in the review phase, it will function as described and would be entirely benign. But once the review process is complete and the app is added to the App Store or Google Play, the scammer changes the domain and connects it to a fraudulent server.

Then, the scammers change the interface to make it look like a legitimate crypto trading application. Sophos ran a campaign and found three such applications. Ace Pro and MBM_BitScan were found on the App Store whereas BitScan was found on Google Play.

Once the scammer targets a victim, it becomes much easier for them to convince the unsuspecting person to download an app from the official marketplace.

But not to worry, BleepingComputer reached out to Apple regarding this and they told them that the apps have been removed from the platform. They said, “The apps in question represented themselves as a QR code scanner and cryptocurrency tracker when they originally came through review. Upon discovering their bait-and-switch tactics, which are a clear violation of the App Store Review Guidelines, we immediately removed the apps from the App Store, and the developers from our Apple Developer Program”.

In future, you should always check for the privacy policy, reviews from others and information about the company before you download any financial app or an app that you are not sure about.

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First Published Date: 04 Feb, 19:15 IST