Apple and Google are being investigated for fraudulent cryptocurrency applications

Apple and Google are being investigated for fraudulent cryptocurrency applications

Cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) criminals have stolen billions of dollars from investors in recent years, from Elon Musk Twitter impersonators to questionable Discord talks. Politicians and law enforcement are increasingly focusing on Apple and Google, who manage massive app stores, and how they vet bogus crypto programs.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in letters sent on Thursday to clarify their procedures for vetting and approving crypto trading and wallet applications for distribution on their app stores. Brown’s investigation follows a recent FBI report warning that 244 individuals have been duped out of $42.7 million by fraudulent cryptocurrency applications posing as genuine investment platforms in less than a year.

Earlier this month, numerous federal criminal enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Justice Department, started pursuing fraudsters suspected of stealing millions, if not billions, of dollars from customers. Even as the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has declined, the number of frauds has increased.

Brown requested the CEOs in the letters to outline their crypto app approval and monitoring procedures in order to avoid applications from “transforming into phishing” frauds. He’s also searching for any information Apple or Google has given users about bogus financial applications.

The inquiry occurred just hours before the Senate Banking Committee, headed by Brown, was scheduled to host a hearing with cryptocurrency specialists on how Congress might reduce frauds in the cryptocurrency and securities markets.

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