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Apple and Google come underneath scrutiny for scammy crypto apps

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From Elon Musk Twitter impersonators to dubious Discord chats, cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) scammers have stolen billions of {dollars} from buyers over the previous few years. However now, politicians and regulation enforcement are turning their consideration to Apple and Google — firms that function big app shops — and the way they overview fraudulent crypto apps.

In letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) requested that the businesses clarify their processes in reviewing and approving crypto buying and selling and pockets apps for obtain on their app shops. Brown’s inquiry follows a recently released FBI report warning that 244 buyers have been scammed out of $42.7 million from fraudulent cryptocurrency apps claiming to be credible funding platforms in underneath a 12 months.

“Crypto cell apps can be found to the general public via app shops, together with Apple’s App Retailer,” the senator wrote to Prepare dinner on Thursday. “Whereas cryptocurrency apps have supplied buyers simple and handy methods to commerce cryptocurrency, stories have emerged of faux crypto apps which have scammed lots of of buyers.”

Apple and Google didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Earlier this month, a number of federal regulation enforcement companies, together with the FBI and Justice Division, began taking action against scammers accused of stealing hundreds of thousands, and typically billions, of {dollars} from shoppers. Whilst Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies have fallen in worth, the prevalence of scams has continued to grow.

Within the letters, Brown requested the CEOs to element their crypto app overview and monitoring processes to stop apps from “remodeling into phishing” scams. He is additionally searching for any info Apple and Google have offered shoppers about faux funding apps.

“Whereas corporations that supply crypto funding and different associated companies ought to take the mandatory steps to stop fraudulent exercise, together with warning buyers concerning the uptick in scams, it’s likewise crucial that app shops have the correct safeguards in place to stop in opposition to fraudulent cell software exercise ,” the senator wrote.

The inquiries got here hours earlier than the Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Brown, was set to carry a listening to with cryptocurrency specialists on methods Congress might mitigate scams within the crypto and securities markets.

Apple and Google have till August tenth to reply to the senator’s requests.

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