The Trezor app is an app that steals Bitcoins. So if you have Bitcoins worth thousands of dollars, there is bad news for you if you have downloaded this app from the Apple store or Google play . Why?
Well, you see, Trezor as an app doesn’t exist because its makers never built one. But on the app store, there is one and this is surprising and shocking too! The story so far won’t intrigue you because it might be too hard to believe,
because Apple takes privacy and security seriously. This, even with the apps in their app store which they make to go through severe reviews and checks before inclusion. Apple’s app store store according to Apple itself, is the world’s most trusted marketplace for apps.
It is easy to believe that because ,every app submission according to them, comes under severe scrutiny. This means that the apps are scanned and reviewed thoroughly to ensure that they are safe to download and use, secure and trustworthy, useful and unique. But a man, Phillipe Christodoulou, downloaded the Trezor app onto his phone to check his bitcoin balance.
He got the biggest surprise of his life after he downloaded it, and entered his credentials. In less than a few seconds he found to his shock that nearly all the 17.1 bitcoins that he owned, the equivalent of about $600,000 at the time it happened, was gone.
Phillipe questioned the sincerity of Apple saying they marketed their app store as a safe and trusted place because each app is reviewed before it is allowed in the store. An angry Christodoulou, once a great admirer of the company, now sees it differently since his bitcoins were stolen.
In fact, in an interview he said that, ” Apple betrayed his trust in them and that they shouldn’t get away with this.”
Perhaps he’s right to say that Apple shouldn’t get away with this. And while his annoyance is understandable and legitimate, something else which most people aren’t aware of, or might be aware of, is at play here. And that is Cryptocurrency scam.
What happened to Christodoulou is a scam designed to steal cryptocurrencies. According to a Coindesk article, the fake Trezor app was developed for the sole purpose of stealing users Trezor passphrase or seed phrase. It is an internet scam like any other scam but one that targets cryptocurrency.
And experts say that of all the internet scams known, cryptocurrency scam is the most lucrative of them all. In split seconds millions of dollars can be stolen from crypto wallets. The statistics are not very comforting to say the least considering that, the purpose of cryptocurrency, was to serve as an alternative to the bank-controlled fiat currency.
But alas, vulnerability issues pop up every now and then that allows scammers take advantage, and to amass crypto fortunes. Looking through the Google app play store and typing Trezor, what comes out are the mostly commonly typed in keywords for the app such as
Trezor bitcoin wallet
Trezor wallet app
Trezor model t and
But typing these keywords into the play store search bar doesn’t bring up the app anymore. Instead the user is presented with an array of other apps- crypto wallets precisely. Google and Apple have since taken measures to remove it from their respective app stores. This sounds like good news and a breath of air to possible future victims.
And although it is comforting to know the app has been taken down, what is disturbing is the fact that so many people trusted it enough to download it. Downloading it like Christodoulou did, they may have also been scammed. In fact one user after downloading the app and using his passphrase to login found to his surprise that the app didn’t work.
After a few days of trying, he went on to a Reddit forum to put the question to redditors and that was when he got the surprise of his life. The answer he got was that the Trezor app doesn’t exist!
Trezor is a hardware wallet whose maker is a company called Satoshilabs in the Czec Republic. It started around the year 2010 and then in 2013 it was legally incorporated tas it says to,
“develop, manufacture and deliver the world’s original cryptocurrency hardware wallet.”
Then a year later, the company shipped the first Trezor one hardware wallet, and the rest they say, is history. Up until now, however, Satoshilabs says it has yet to develop a downloadable Trezor app. it is however in the process of doing so and declares that it has never had one.
But concerning the Trezor app found on the app market, it claims it had warned Apple and Google over the years about fake apps posing as Trezor.
Washington post: Trezor scam
Coindesk: Scam apps in app stores