Google files lawsuit against Chinese citizens for promoting fraudulent crypto apps on Play Store: Report


Google is taking a conscious approach towards identifying risky apps being promoted on its Play Store. In a latest development, the search engine giant has identified two suspects who may have been using app storefronts to advertise fraudulent crypto apps. To deal with this situation, Google has filed a lawsuit against two Chinese citizens living in mainland China. Google's major competitor Apple has maintained a policy-based limit on crypto-related activities aimed at protecting its community members from financial risks.

A Cointelegraph report said that in the lawsuit filed by Google, the company has alleged that two Chinese nationals were luring people to join scam crypto apps, getting them to deposit funds and later withdrawing their deposits. were blocking access.

The individuals named by Google in the lawsuit are Yunfeng Sun, alias Alphonse Sun, and Hongnam Cheung, alias Zhang Hongnim, or Stanford Fisher. In its filing, the tech giant has accused the defendants of misrepresenting the identity, location and nature of the fraudulent apps for publishing them on the Play Store.

Google estimates that these malicious crypto apps were collectively downloaded more than 100,000 times. One such app named TionRT Exchange is among at least 87 crypto scam apps that Google has accused both of advertising and publishing on the Play Store.

The alleged culprits have been accused of exploiting the international reach of platforms like YouTube to advertise these apps, as well as reaching out to potential victims through text message campaigns.

The tech giant is also suing the developers of these apps for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) law. The RICO law, passed in the US in 1970, aims to eliminate organized crimes.

Over the past few years, the crypto sector has flourished internationally, with thousands of cryptocurrencies launched into circulation. Taking advantage of this boom, crypto scammers also increased their activities and managed to steal billions of dollars from the community.

Now, many countries are implementing rules to regulate the crypto sector in hopes of making it safer for their citizens. Fake apps, false high return schemes, scam airdrop promises are just some of the ways scammers are establishing relationships with potential victims.

With the increasing number of crypto crimes, platforms like Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store have been repeatedly reminded by authorities to remain vigilant in identifying problematic apps.

For example, in November 2022, US authorities asked Apple and Google to provide detailed information on crypto-related apps available on the App Store and Play Store, respectively. At that time the tech giants were also asked to explain how and how often they monitor the apps available for download on their respective app stores.

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