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From Love Messages to Lost Fortunes: The Inside Story of Google’s Battle Against Crypto Scammers!

Google takes legal action against developers for running a crypto scam on its Play Store, marking a first in its fight to safeguard users.



गाजियाबाद में सामने आया Cyber ठगी का बड़ा मामला, रिटायर्ड अफसर से 4.5 करोड़ का फ्रॉड, तरीका उड़ा देगा आपके होशगाजियाबाद में सामने आया Cyber ठगी का बड़ा मामला, रिटायर्ड अफसर से 4.5 करोड़ का फ्रॉड, तरीका उड़ा देगा आपके होश

In a first-of-its-kind legal action, Google has filed a lawsuit against two alleged cryptocurrency scammers from China and Hong Kong, accusing them of distributing fraudulent crypto trading apps and investment platforms on the Google Play Store.

The tech giant claims these malicious apps were used to carry out a form of romance scam known as “pig butchering,” which lured over 100,000 victims into downloading the apps and losing significant amounts of money.

The Accusation: Pig Butchering via Fake Crypto Apps

The accused, based in China and Hong Kong, are said to have uploaded a staggering 87 fraudulent apps, attracting over 100,000 downloads. Google alleges that victims lost anywhere between $100 and tens of thousands of dollars each.

The scam, according to Google, operated similarly to a “pig butchering” scheme, where victims are initially befriended and fattened up with promises before being scammed.  While Google distances itself from the term, the tactic involved building trust with victims through romantic messages and even YouTube videos.

ALSO READ: International Cybercrime Ring Busted: Pig Butchering, Cyber Slavery, Stock & Passport Fraud Uncovered

How the Scam Worked: From Text Messages to Fake Profits

The alleged scheme began with seemingly innocuous text messages like “Hey, it’s Sophia. Remember me?” If a response was received, the scammers would attempt to establish a relationship and eventually move the conversation to a platform like WhatsApp. This is where the victims were manipulated into downloading a fraudulent crypto app and investing their money.

To further the illusion, the apps displayed fake balances and investment returns. However, the crucial detail – withdrawing funds – was impossible. Google claims that in some cases, small withdrawals were allowed to build trust, only to be followed by fees or minimum balance requirements, ultimately trapping the victims’ money.

ALSO READ: Man Posing as Flipkart Manager Busted in Rs 13 Crore Crypto Scam, Dehradun Police Bust Network Across 12 States

Google Fights Back: Protecting Users and the Play Store

This lawsuit marks Google’s first legal action of its kind against app developers involved in such elaborate scams. The company emphasizes the importance of holding these “bad actors” accountable and deterring future attempts to exploit users.

Google also highlights the damage caused to its platform. The fraudulent apps threatened the “integrity” of the Play Store and diverted resources towards detection and disruption. The lawsuit claims Google incurred over $75,000 in investigating the operation.

By taking legal action, Google aims to not only recover damages but also prevent similar scams from happening again. The company seeks a court order barring the developers from further fraudulent activities and unspecified financial compensation for the harm caused.


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