Now i’m not sure if this recent Ethereum scam is genius, or just preying on gullible, but essentially what’s happened is someone has created an app for the Google Play store, that means the page for the app looks as if users can purchase single Ethereum tokens through Google Play, for the value of €335.00, which is actually more than the value of Ethereum on a real exchange at the time of the ‘sale’.
It’s hard to explain, however here’s an image of the ‘sale’ taken from malware researcher Lukas Stefanko on Twitter, see the original tweet here – @LukasStefanko
Now to you and me, this is an obvious scam isn’t it. Even so though, the scam managed to convince over 100 users to attempt to purchase ‘a Ethereum’ from Google Play. Most concerningly, the company that published the ‘sale’ have called themselves Google Commerce Ltd, making it look a little more legitimate to the lay user.
Google Commerce Ltd are a real company by the way, but obviously aren’t the people behind this scam.
In case you’re wondering what these users actually purchased with their €335.00, it was a low resolution version of the Ethereum logo and nothing more. Lukas Stefanko said:
“Buying Ethereum app is not the same as buying #Ethereum. Scam app for €335 only displays ETH logo.”
This is savage and really highlights just how cryptocurrency can be used to mislead people. The worrying thing here is that this somehow managed to be allowed on the Google Play store. Indeed, the scam has now been taken down but the simple fact it got there on the first place highlights some of the problems with Google’s lack of a screening process when it comes to third-party applications. Instead, Google simply just don’t recommend the apps, but still allow them up there in the first place.
How to avoid scams like this.
Don’t buy cryptocurrency off Google Play, it’s as simple as that.