A scam cryptocurrency app on Apple’s app distribution service App Store has reportedly stolen $600,000 Bitcoin (BTC) from one iOS user.
Cryptocurrency holder Phillipe Christodoulou fell victim to a scam app on the App Store, losing nearly all his life savings to a fake crypto wallet application, The Washington Post reports Tuesday.
Christodoulou went on the App Store last month to search for a mobile Trezor app to check his Bitcoin balance via phone. Unaware that Trezor does not currently provide an iOS app, Christodoulou downloaded a doppelgänger Trezor application that boasted close to five stars, giving the impression that it was indeed an official app. After entering his seed phrase, Christodoulou said that his savings of 17.1 BTC were stolen.
Christodoulou said that Apple, which collects 15% to 30% commissions on sales, should be held responsible for this situation. “They betrayed the trust that I had in them. Apple doesn’t deserve to get away with this,” he stated. According to the Washington Post, Christodoulou filed a report with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Following notification from Trezor, Apple removed the fake Trezor app several times, but it kept appearing on the App Store days later.
The crypto community is somewhat divided on whether Apple should be blamed for the accident. “This is a f*cking nightmare. Scammed by a fake Trezor app in the ‘curated and safe’ Apple App Store,” crypto investor Scott Melker said on Twitter. Jameson Lopp, co-founder of crypto custody platform Casa said, “Stop entering seed phrases into software. Only enter seeds into dedicated Bitcoin hardware devices.”
Fake cryptocurrency wallet and trading apps have appeared on the App Store before. United Kingdom-based crypto intelligence company Coinfirm said that five people have reported having their crypto stolen by a fake Trezor app on iOS, with total losses estimated at $1.6 million.
Trezor spokesperson Kristyna Mazankova told Cointelegraph that the firm has been fighting against fraudulent apps for years now. “We have had an internal process on reporting phishing sites and apps since mid-2019,” she said, stating that Trezor has already reported three doppelgänger Trezor apps to Apple in 2021.
“It takes days before the apps are removed and we never get any response from either Apple or Google, so it is difficult for us to know, for how long exactly are these apps on and how many people get tricked,” Mazankova stated. Trezor is planning to introduce a mobile app for iOS in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Apple did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.