Politicians have had enough of the cryptocurrency scams that have cheated American investors out of billions of dollars in recent years. They’ve decided to investigate Apple and Google this week because they believe those companies aren’t doing enough to combat fraudulent cryptocurrency apps.
Following the FBI’s warning regarding fraudulent cryptocurrency apps abducting more than $30 million from investors during the years, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and his Senate Banking Committee interrogated Apple and Google officials to learn why those apps were ever released.
Brown wrote that while firms offering crypto investment and other related services should take the required steps to avert fraudulent activity, including alerting investors about the increase in scams, it is also critical that app stores have the proper protections in place to prevent fraudulent mobile app activity.
Brown specifically mentioned one case in which cyber criminals deceived at least two dozen investors by creating a mobile app that utilized the name and logo of a legitimate trading platform. After 28 investors downloaded the app and deposited $3.7 million in cryptocurrency into digital wallets, they were unable to withdraw the funds and lost their deposit.
Apple and Google have a lot of work ahead of them
Brown and the Senate Banking Committee asked the two tech CEOs to respond to the following questions:
- Describe your company’s review process before allowing crypto apps to operate in each company’s app store.
- Describe how app stores prevent cryptocurrency apps from circumventing app store policies by morphing into phishing apps.
- Describe all of the systems and processes in place at each company for people to report fraudulent apps.
- Describe all actions taken by each company’s app store to warn people regarding actual or potentially fraudulent cryptocurrency investment app activity.
- Since January 2020, have either app stores coordinated or shared any actions or activities related to the suspension or removal of fraudulent cryptocurrency apps with other app stores? If so, please elaborate.
Apple and Google have until August 10th to respond to Brown.