From Elon Musk Twitter impersonators to doubtful Discord chats, cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) scammers have stolen billions of bucks from traders over the previous couple of years. But now, politicians and legislation enforcement are turning their consideration to Apple and Google — corporations that perform large app shops — and the way they overview fraudulent crypto apps.
In letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) requested that the corporations give an explanation for their processes in reviewing and approving crypto buying and selling and pockets apps for obtain on their app shops. Brown’s inquiry follows a not too long ago launched FBI record caution that 244 traders had been scammed out of $42.7 million from fraudulent cryptocurrency apps claiming to be credible funding platforms in beneath a 12 months.
“Crypto mobile apps are available to the public through app stores, including Apple’s App Store,” the senator wrote to Cook on Thursday. “While cryptocurrency apps have offered investors easy and convenient ways to trade cryptocurrency, reports have emerged of fake crypto apps that have scammed hundreds of investors.”
Apple and Google didn’t right away reply to requests for remark.
Earlier this month, a number of federal legislation enforcement businesses, together with the FBI and Justice Department, started taking motion towards scammers accused of stealing tens of millions, and every so often billions, of bucks from shoppers. Even as Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies have fallen in worth, the superiority of scams has persevered to develop.
In the letters, Brown requested the CEOs to element their crypto app overview and tracking processes to stop apps from “transforming into phishing” scams. He’s additionally searching for any knowledge Apple and Google have supplied shoppers about pretend funding apps.
“While firms that offer crypto investment and other related services should take the necessary steps to prevent fraudulent activity, including warning investors about the uptick in scams, it is likewise imperative that app stores have the proper safeguards in place to prevent against fraudulent mobile application activity,” the senator wrote.
The inquiries got here hours ahead of the Senate Banking Committee, chaired by way of Brown, was once set to carry a listening to with cryptocurrency professionals on techniques Congress may just mitigate scams within the crypto and securities markets.
Apple and Google have till August tenth to answer the senator’s requests.