As of October 2021, 244 victims have been scammed out of $42.7 million by fraudulent crypto applications.
“The FBI has observed cyber criminals contacting US investors, fraudulently claiming to offer legitimate cryptocurrency investment services, and convincing investors to download fraudulent mobile apps, which the cyber criminals have used with increasing success over time to defraud the investors of their cryptocurrency,” the warning, published on Monday, said.
According to the FBI, one case involved individuals operating under the YiBit name scamming victims out of $5.5 million, and another involved individuals pretending to be a legitimate U.S. financial institution and stealing $3.7 million from investors.
Users were persuaded to download a YiBit app and deposit cryptocurrency by YiBit cybercriminals. A tax notice was sent to 17 victims following the deposit of their investments. Funds could not be withdrawn by four victims.
In a similar case, the FBI said another app called Supayos required deposits and then frozen one user's account after notifying him that a $900,000 balance was required.
Over 98% of Gen Z and 98% of millennials use mobile banking apps regularly, and the FBI warns investors and financial institutions not to download investment apps unsolicited. Any personal financial information should be verified before being provided to an application or company.