A Redditor has drawn the attention of the crypto community to three fake mobile apps for Binance Smart Chain-based decentralized exchange PancakeSwap mobile applications found on the Google Play Store.
The Redditor named u/R_PH noted that he came across the applications on the popular Android app store while checking some updates.
Shocked that he may have missed the official release of the mobile version of the popular BSC-based exchange, the Redditor did research, which showed that scammers had created the apps in order to steal unsuspecting victims’ private keys.
Fake PancakeSwap App Gaining Traction
A quick search on Google Play Store confirmed that three fake PancakeSwap apps have been live on the platform and are gradually gaining traction.
At the time of writing, the apps have recorded more than 12,000 downloads combined, and they seemed to be uploaded this month given the reviews on their respective pages.
Many Users Scammed
Judging from the reviews, some people have already fallen prey to the fake apps. The hackers succeeded in stealing users funds through their private keys.
The reviews contain different horrible tales of users complaining that they lost thousands of dollars a few minutes after providing their private keys.
u/R_PH has called on the cryptocurrency community on Reddit to join other users in reporting the application as a scam, before it wrecks more havoc.
It is worth noting that PancakeSwap does not yet have a mobile application and all its functions are still web-based.
Fake Crypto Apps Becoming Popular
The practice of scammers creating cryptocurrency-related applications and uploading them on popular app stores is becoming more common these days.
Coinfomania reported a similar development about popular Ethereum-based decentralized exchange Uniswap late last year.
Per the report, hackers had uploaded their version of the exchanges’ app, stealing users’ keys and gaining unrestricted access to their funds.
Similarly, a crypto user said that he lost 17.1 Bitcoin (BTC) to a fake Trezor wallet application he downloaded from the Apple Store.
Google is Not Helping Matters
The unfortunate incident caused many people to wonder how the malefactors were able to pass through Google’s advance security procedures to have the app listed for weeks, while continuing to cause users’ losses.
Despite calls by users to take down the app, the application is still relaxing comfortably on the platform, with its number of downloads increasing by the day.
While it is not in users’ power to stop these illicit applications from finding their way to popular app stores, users are advised to take adequate measures to keep themselves safe.
Before downloading crypto-related applications, it is advisable you conduct due diligence, including researching whether there is an app for the service you want to use.
You should also take note of the number of downloads the app has gathered so far, as well as what existing users are saying about the application via the review section.