Security News > 2021 > October > Romance scams with a cryptocurrency twist – new research from SophosLabs

Romance scams with a cryptocurrency twist – new research from SophosLabs
2021-10-13 18:01

All those dubious excuses needed by traditional romance scammers to talk you into using wire transfer services to send money, or into buying them gift cards and sending through the redemption codes, are replaced by a sense of structure: there's a genuine app for this investment!

The cryptorom scammers will even offer you an app if you have an iPhone, where Apple's "Walled garden" approach of requiring all consumer app downloads to come from the Apple App Store almost certainly persuades many victims that the cryptorom app must indeed have some sort of official authorisation or approval.

The App Store, like Google's Play Store equivalent for Android, is by no means immune to malware, fleeceware and other badware apps.

Totally bogus cryptocurrency trading apps, based on totally bogus trading platforms, rarely make it through.

So these crooks bypass the App Store entirely, using a series of tricks explained in a new SophosLabs research report entitled CryptoRom fake iOS cryptocurrency apps hit US, European victims for at least $1.4 million.

The technological basis for these scam apps is surprisingly simple: the crooks persuade you, for example on the basis of a friendship carefully cultivated via a dating site, into giving them the same sort of administrative power over your iPhone that is usually reserved for companies managing corporate-owned devices.

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