Google files lawsuit against crypto scammers

Thursday 4 April 2024 15:17 CET | News

Google has filed a lawsuit against a group of crypto scammers for allegedly defrauding more than 100,000 people via the Android app store.


According to CNBC, Google initiated legal action against a group of alleged crypto scammers, alleging they perpetrated fraud against more than 100,000 individuals worldwide. The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, accuses the defendants of uploading fraudulent investment and cryptocurrency exchange applications to Google Play. 

According to Google, the defendants made various misrepresentations to bypass Google's security measures and publish their apps on Google Play. The company asserts this legal action marks the first instance of a technology firm pursuing such measures against crypto scammers and aims to establish legal precedents for user protection. 

The lawsuit, citing civil claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law and breach of contract, targets the alleged scammers. Google reports that the defendants orchestrated their scheme since at least 2019, employing methods such as text message campaigns, online promotional videos, and affiliate marketing to attract victims.


Google has filed a lawsuit against a group of crypto scammers for allegedly defrauding more than 100,000 people via the Android app store.


A closer look at the fraudulent apps 

The apps in question, numbering at least 87 according to Google, purportedly appeared legitimate, displaying balances and investment returns. However, users encountered difficulties withdrawing their investments or gains. Google claims that the defendants employed various tactics to maintain the illusion of legitimacy, including permitting initial small withdrawals and demanding fees or minimum balances for withdrawals, ultimately defrauding victims of additional funds. 

One highlighted app, TionRT, allegedly posed as a cryptocurrency exchange, enticing users through text messages and social media platforms with promises of financial gains. Despite appearances of legitimacy, users faced withdrawal issues, prompting complaints to Google and the eventual removal of the platform. 

Google asserts it suffered damages exceeding USD 75,000 due to expenses incurred in investigating the breach and enhancing safety measures. The company seeks a permanent injunction against the defendants to prevent further misconduct and access to Google services.

Some information about Google Play Protect

According to TechTarget, Google Play Protect, an integral component of Android devices using Google Mobile Services, serves as a malware detection and protection service. Functioning autonomously, Google Play Protect conducts scans upon application installation and periodically afterwards, aiming to identify and remove potentially harmful software. Additionally, it alerts users about apps breaching the Unwanted Software Policy, typically by concealing or distorting crucial information. 

Google Play Protect also offers privacy alerts concerning apps with access to personal data via user permissions, potentially enhancing user awareness and security. Additionally, it can reset app permissions to support privacy safeguards.

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Keywords: cryptocurrency, online fraud, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency exchange
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Companies: Google
Countries: World
This article is part of category

DeFi & Crypto & Web3


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