is removing several cryptocurrency-related apps from the Google Play Store after they were determined to be malicious apps by TrendMicro
. These malicious apps were promoting themselves as cryptocurrency mining apps that could help users make huge profits by investing in cloud-mining businesses for which they would receive a specified amount of cryptocurrency. But the apps, once installed, merely showed ads and tricked users into paying $15 per month for subscription services and improved mining capabilities that were bogus.
Delete these bogus cryptocurrency mining apps from your Android phone ASAP!
The bottom line is that none of these apps ever returned anything of value to users. The eight apps, no longer available in the Google Play Store, include:
- 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
Just because the apps have been removed from Google's Android app storefront doesn't mean that you are out of the woods if you've installed one or more of these apps on your phone. If you have, it would behoove you to uninstall them from your Android handset immediately. A couple of these apps, Crypto Holic – Bitcoin Cloud Mining and Daily Bitcoin Rewards – Cloud Based Mining, were paid apps priced at $12.99 and $5.99 respectively.
One of the apps was able to avoid earlier scrutiny by claiming that it was just a game designed to educate people about cryptocurrencies and that real currencies were not used. As a result, the developer wrote that his app did not have to make cryptocurrency payments to users.
Once again, reading the comments section first would have saved you a headache
A large number of similar apps remain inside the Play Store. Trend Micro Mobile App Reputation Service (MARS) data reveals that more than 120 fake cryptocurrency apps are still online. These apps have absolutely no cryptocurrency mining capabilities and trick users into watching ads.
Of the eight apps removed from the Play Store by Google, one, BitFunds – Crypto Cloud Mining, had been downloaded over 100,000 times. The report by TrendMicro also noted that users were prompted to click on ads instead of being asked to pay for more computing power needed for mining. Two of the apps, Bitcoin (BTC) – Pool Mining Cloud Wallet and Bitcoin 2021 had the following malicious attributes:
- The UI is loaded with advertisements.
- Users are informed that they can start mining after watching video ads inside the app.
- Users are told to click on ads during fake mining procedures to confirm that they are not robots.
- Users are told to click on ads to increase mining speed.
Unfortunately, even those who watch the ads that they are prompted to view cannot withdraw any cryptocurrency from the apps. However, users of these malicious apps are told that if they get several friends to install them, the cryptocurrency withdrawal interface will unlock. Again, this is a bogus claim as the app will always show requests to withdraw cryptocurrency in a waiting state.
TrendMicro included some helpful tips in its report to help you find fake apps. Number one on the list is something that we tell you to do constantly before installing an app from a developer you've never heard of: check the comments left by users. One review for a fake mining app said, "This app is a scam. It is easy to use and doesn't heat up your phone, because it's not doing anything."
As always, the comment section is the first place to look for red flags warning you to stay away from an app
When you see a few reviews like this, you need to run away from an app as fast as you can. Another way to spot a fake is to restart the app or the phone while it is in the process of "mining." Most bogus mining apps have fake counters that will restart at zero if turned off in the middle of the "mining" process.
You can also enter a fake or invalid cryptocurrency wallet address. If the app accepts it and allows you to continue to perform operations, chances are that the app is a fake. And if there is no fee charged for withdrawing cryptocurrency, your suspicions should be raised. Transferring cryptocurrency usually comes with a high handling fee which means that free withdrawal is suspicious.
Greed makes us all blind. But do yourself a favor and check to see if any of the eight bogus mining apps have been installed on your Android phone and remain installed on the device. If so, delete them now.