From Elon Musk impersonators on Twitter to shady Discord discussions, cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) scammers have stolen billions of dollars from investors in recent years. But now politicians and law enforcement are turning their attention to which companies Apple and Google run huge app stores and how they look into malicious crypto apps.
In Thursday’s letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged companies to streamline the review and approval processes for downloadable cryptocurrency and wallet trading apps in the their app to explain the stores. Brown’s investigation follows a recent FBI report warning that 244 investors were scammed for $ 42.7 million in less than a year by rogue cryptocurrency apps posing as investment platforms.
It is vital that app stores have the right protections in place to prevent fraudulent mobile app activity
Mobile crypto apps are publicly available through app stores, including Apple’s App Store, the Senator wrote to Cook on Thursday. While cryptocurrency apps have provided investors with easy and affordable ways to trade cryptocurrency, there have been reports of fake cryptocurrency apps defrauding hundreds of investors.
Apple and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this month, several federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Justice Department, began taking action against scammers accused of stealing millions, if not billions of dollars from consumers. Even as the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plummeted, the prevalence of scams has continued to rise.
In the letters, Brown asked CEOs to detail their processes for reviewing and monitoring crypto apps to prevent apps from turning into phishing scams. He is also looking for information that Apple and Google have made available to consumers on fake investment apps.
While companies offering investments in cryptocurrencies and other related services should take the necessary steps to prevent fraudulent activity, including alerting investors to the rise in scams, it is also imperative that app stores put in place adequate safeguards to prevent fraudulent app activity. furniture. wrote the senator.
The investigation came just hours before the Senate Banking Commission, chaired by Brown, held a hearing with cryptocurrency experts on how Congress could fight fraud in the cryptocurrency and money market markets.
Apple and Google have until August 10 to respond to the senator’s requests.