8 fake cryptocurrency mining apps banned from Google Play Store

Several hackers are taking advantage of the popularity of cryptocurrency mining by developing fake Android apps targeted at those innocent users interested in virtual currency.

Google has banned 8 such apps from its Play Store following a report by security firm Trend Micro. These apps lure the unsuspecting users into installing them on their phones by promising huge profits from small investments.

“We recently discovered eight deceptive mobile apps that masquerade as cryptocurrency cloud mining applications, where users can earn cryptocurrency by investing money into a cloud-mining operation,” the report said.

“However, upon analysis, we discovered that these malicious apps only trick victims into watching ads, paying for subscription services that have an average monthly fee of US$15, and paying for increased mining capabilities without getting anything in return,” it added. 

If you have any of the following apps installed on your Android phone, then delete them immediately.

  • > BitFunds – Crypto Cloud Mining
  • > Bitcoin Miner – Cloud Mining
  • > Bitcoin (BTC) – Pool Mining Cloud Wallet
  • > Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining
  • > Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining System
  • > Bitcoin 2021
  • > MineBit Pro – Crypto Cloud Mining & btc miner
  • > Ethereum (ETH) – Pool Mining Cloud

The report further suggested that there are more than 120 fake cryptocurrency mining apps still available online. These apps lack cryptocurrency mining capabilities and trick the users into watching ads. These have affected more than 4,500 users globally over the last year, according to the firm.

The report also provides steps to recognize fake cryptocurrency mining apps:

1. Read the app’s reviews carefully. Fake apps get plenty of 5-star reviews once they go online. They may be false and paid-for reviews. Pay more attention to 1-star reviews.

2. Try to enter an invalid or wrong cryptocurrency address. Trend Micro says, if the app accepts the invalid wallet address encoded by the user, then there is a high probability that the app is fraudulent.

3. Restart the app or phone while it is in the process of mining. Most mining actions for fake apps are just simulated with local counters. This means that if a device is restarted after mining starts and the mining application is killed in the background, the system will forcibly clear the counter, resetting it to zero.

4. Confirm if there is a withdrawal fee. Cryptocurrency transfer requires a high handling fee compared to what is typically made from cloud mining. Therefore, free withdrawals are very suspicious.