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US Senator wants Apple and Google to share information on fake crypto apps

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US lawmakers continue to express interest in regulating the crypto space and ensuring there is reduced risk to US investors. Senator Sherrod Brown has now written letters to Apple and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, seeking information on how the giant tech companies can ban fake cryptocurrency apps.

US Senator wants Apple and Google to ban fake crypto apps

Brown, also the chair of the Senate Banking Committee, published the letters on Thursday asking the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, and the CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, about the measures that the tech giants could take to approve the crypto apps downloaded into Apple and Android devices.

The lawmaker also requested information on how the companies determined the security and trust of these crypto apps to prevent phishing campaigns conducted via fake apps. The Senator noted that cybercriminals were stealing defining details of crypto firms to create fraudulent apps and lure unsuspecting users.

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The letter also said that companies offering crypto-related services must take precautions to prevent fraudulent activities. It includes warning investors of any rise in crypto scams. App stores should also have the required safeguards to avoid fraud through fake apps.

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The rise in crypto scams

These letters come on the backdrop of a public warning issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). On July 18, the FBI said that scammers had stolen over $42 million between October 2021 and May 2022. Part of the money stolen involved a fake app that used the name of a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange.

The President of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation, Gerri Walsh, said that part of the $57 million in fines imposed on Robinhood would go towards crypto education including online crypto accounts or mobile applications.

Walsh also said that some scammers were also using dating and messaging applications to dupe victims into sending funds or investing in fake crypto platforms, adding that misinformation on social media was a primary factor in the spread of these scams.

In June 2022, the Federal Trade Commission said that around 46,000 individuals in the United States had lost nearly $1 billion in cryptocurrencies to scams conducted in 2021. The FTC noted that approximately 50% of all crypto scams came from social media platforms through posts, messages, and advertisements.

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