Consumers have now been warned not to fall for a new kind of fake gaming application that has so far stolen millions in crypto from victims.
Victims are normally contacted by these scammers online, before they are introduced in time to the online or mobile game, based on a new Public Service Announcement from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
This game alleges that it will reward the user with crypto just for playing. Although there are different variations of the scam, the example the FBI used was a player growing virtual crops on an animated firm.
Before playing, users need to have created a crypto wallet and bought some digital money. The scammer allegedly explains that the more cryptocurrency they keep in their wallet, the more rewards they can earn in the game.
The apps have been perfectly designed to display the phony rewards that accumulate as the victims play. Nevertheless, when they stop depositing virtual money into the wallet, the cyber-criminals then steal all the funds through malware which was expertly activated when the victim joined the game, the FBI insisted.
In another secondary scam, the criminals will tell their victims they can reclaim their funds by paying more taxes or fees – although the money also ends up in the pockets of the scammers.
The FBI urged investors who wish to participate in crypto-based gaming to:
- Set up a distinct digital wallet to use, instead of the one suggested by the criminals. It means that even if these threat actors access the gaming wallet, they cannot steal the user’s crypto.
- Use a third-party blockchain explorer to independently check the balance of the addresses within a gaming wallet.
- Use a third-party token allowance checker to gain some insight into any apps or sites the user might have unknowingly allowed to access funds in their wallets, and revoke those permissions.
This is only the latest in a long line of crypto scams that were identified by security researchers. Most start with victims being groomed on different romance sites before they are persuaded to download fake apps that are designed to steal their money.
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