FBI Warns of Cryptocurrency Theft Via “Play-to-Earn” Gaming Apps

  • The cybercriminals accomplish the task by using custom-created gaming apps.
  • The players were instructed to generate a cryptocurrency wallet to join specific games.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US has warned consumers about the cybercriminals utilizing fake rewards in presumed “play-to-earn” mobile and online games to steal cryptocurrency worth millions.

According to a new Public Service Announcement from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), cybercriminals accomplish the tasks using custom-created gaming apps that could offer enormous financial incentives directly proportional to the investment made to the potential targets with whom they had established trust via lengthy online conversations beforehand.

Moreover, the criminals would introduce the victim to gaming environments where the players could earn fake cryptocurrency rewards:

Criminals contact victims online and build a relationship with victims over time. Criminals then introduce victims to an online or mobile game, in which players purportedly earn cryptocurrency rewards in exchange for some activity, such as growing “crops” on an animated farm.

Significantly, players were instructed by cybercriminals to generate a cryptocurrency wallet. The players were also forced to purchase cryptocurrency to join a specific game app that could offer massive rewards.

As per the FBI’s new Public Service Announcement, the cybercriminals convince the players that the promised rewards would increase as the victims store more money in their wallets. Furthermore, the victims’ wallets were drained using the activated malicious program once they stopped fund deposits.

In addition, the cybercriminals could convince the victims that they could recover the invested money by paying additional charges but leaving them empty-handed.

Meanwhile, in 2022, over 4,00,000 new malicious files were distributed and activated per day by cybercriminals to practice theft and malpractice. In comparison with 2021, the attack on users by cybercriminals has increased by 5% in 2022.

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