Scam Crypto Casino Hidden in App Store Children’s Game

A childrens game freely available from Apples App Store and featuring a monkey chasing bananas actually hides a secret, hidden online crypto casino, the clever scam unearthed this week...

By: Andrew Burnett

Kosta Eleftheriou is the Mobile app developer behind the Apple Watch keyboard app FlickType, and was described as the man who “made a convincing case that Apple is either uninterested or incompetent at stopping $multimillion scams in its own App Store.”

His “Bunco squad” investigations this week threw up the latest in a long line of dubious apps that have somehow made it through Apple’s security.

“Jungle Runner 2k21” is on the face of it a simple children’s platform game, but super-sleuth Kosta explains how in a few easy steps it soon turns into a scam cryptocasino.

  • “The developer uses shady ads to attract unsuspecting users, pretending the app was featured on CNN Turk. Once people follow the ad, they are taken to this App Store page."
  • “Since the app is free and the App Store is ‘a place you can trust’ according to Apple, most people at this point will just go ahead and download it. What is there to lose?"
  • “But since the scammers are not using Apple’s IAP, and an online casino could just be a website, why are they even going through the App Store? To take advantage of people’s misplaced trust due to Apple’s ‘Security! Privacy!’ marketing."

Eleftheriou’s investigation revealed how the “bonuses” on offer were simply a means to scam customers of their money.

“As an icing on the cake, people in the reviews say that they deposited large sums for the promise of a bonus, but they never received the promised payouts,” stated Kosta, adding: “Surprising no one, the scammers aren’t even operating a fair casino.”

After Eleftheriou flagged the dodgy app it was eventually removed from the App store, although the same developer, “Colin Malachi,” also publishes another similar gambling-front App called “Magical Forest”.

An article in The Verge earlier this week looked into how Apple are failing to police scams in their $64billion a year App market, with Eleftheriou chief among those finding serious flaws in the company’s approach.

Journalist Sean Hollister took a similar investigative approach to Eleftheriou and wrote: “Apple...tells The Verge it has computer automation, proprietary review tools, huge volumes of internal data, and a dedicated “Discovery Fraud team” of humans at its disposal, a single person on a laptop in his living room is finding egregious scams that Apple continues to host, and I was able to use his basic technique to do the same thing.”

Apple have been approached for comment about this latest scam to hit their App store.

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