According to a report by Washington Post, an unfortunate iOS user is alleging that he fell victim to a scam that cost him nearly his entire life savings — 17.1 BTC (worth roughly $600,000 at the time) — thanks to Apple’s negligence in running the iOS app store.
The report says that Phillipe Christodoulou, who was using a Trezor hardware wallet to store his BTC, searched the iOS app store (on his iPhone) for “Trezor”, not realizing that SatoshiLabs, the maker of the Trezor wallet, offers a desktop app (for macOS, Windows, and Linux) but no mobile app (for iOS or Android).
Anyway, Christodoulou did manage to find app that matched his search query — a fake app that looked like it had been developed by SatoshiLabs.
Christodoulou told Washington Post during an interview that he has reported this crime to the FBI and that he is Angry with Apple for marketing the App Store as a safe/trusted place with each submitted app thoroughly tested before getting approved:
“They betrayed the trust that I had in them,” he said in an interview. “Apple doesn’t deserve to get away with this.“
Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz had this to say:
“User trust is at the foundation of why we created the App Store, and we have only deepened that commitment in the years since. Study after study has shown that the App Store is the most secure app marketplace in the world, and we are constantly at work to maintain that standard and to further strengthen the App Store’s protections. In the limited instances when criminals defraud our users, we take swift action against these actors as well as to prevent similar violations in the future.“
The report went on to say:
“Apple wouldn’t say whether fake Trezor apps had sneaked into the App Store in the past, or whether new apps called ‘Trezor’ will be flagged as potentially fraudulent in the future.“
Kristyna Mazankova, a spokeswoman for SatoshiLabs, told Washington Post that they had notified Apple about a “copycat app” on February 1. Christodoulou says Apple removed the app on February 3, but the app returned to the app store days later before getting removed again.
Apparently, the fake app had originally been submitted to Apple as a “cryptography” app that could “encrypt iPhone files and store passwords”, but in a later version, (unbeknown to Apple) the app turned into a crypto wallet.
According to Christodoulou, over the years, he had managed to HODL 18.1 BTC; he had sent one of these bitcoins to BlockFi and the other 17.1 bitcoins were on his Trezor wallet.
He says that after downloading the fake app, he connected his Trezor wallet to his computer only to discover that his 17.1 BTC were gone.
Christodoulou claims that he’s seeing a psychiatrist at the moment and that he still has not heard from Apple.
He still hasn’t heard from Apple.
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