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Google takes legal action against individuals accused of posting fraudulent cryptocurrency apps.

Google filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a group of crypto scammers, alleging they defrauded more than 100,000 people across the globe by uploading fraudulent investment and crypto exchange apps to Google Play. The lawsuit claims the defendants made “multiple misrepresentations to Google in order to upload their fraudulent apps to Google Play, including but not limited to misrepresentations about their identity, location, and the type and nature of the application being uploaded.”

The Alphabet-owned company is bringing civil claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law as well as breach of contract claims against the group of scammers. Google said the scammers, identified as Yunfeng Sun and Hongnam Cheung, conducted their scheme since at least 2019, luring victims to download their apps through various methods.

Users were led to believe the apps were trustworthy by allowing them to withdraw small amounts of money initially. The defendants used tactics like fees or minimum balances to prevent victims from withdrawing larger sums, ultimately deceiving users and extracting more money from them.

The lawsuit also highlighted the case of TionRT, a fraudulent crypto exchange app that promised users extra income but failed to deliver on withdrawals. Google detected these fake apps when victims reached out after failed withdrawal attempts, prompting the company to take legal action against the scammers.

Google worked proactively to combat fraud, with teams dedicated to detecting and preventing abuse across its platforms. In some instances, Google partners with law enforcement agencies to address fraudulent activities and protect users.

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against the defendants, general damages, and restrictions on their access to Google services. Through legal action, Google aims to set a precedent for combating cryptocurrency scams and protecting its users from fraudulent schemes.

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