Chinese ministry posts warning about fake digital yuan app

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A fake digit yuan app has been uncovered, according to a post on WeChat attributed to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The Trojan Horse download closely resembles the official version, but minor differences can be detected.

Besides “pulling dividends,” the fake app can collect sensitive user information and provides fake customer service that directs the user to “uncommon social tools” to facilitate the seizure of the user’s funds, the ministry said.

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The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s warning about the fake digital yuan app. Source: WeChat

The fake central bank digital currency app uses a logo with a different outline from the authentic app, and its user interface is different but comparable. The fake app has a different name from the real one, as well as a different version number and different MD5 message-digest identity.

No information was provided on the parties behind the scam or measures being taken to stop it. Cointelegraph was unable to find the fake app in the Apple or Google app stores.

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The real (top) and fake digital yuan logos. Source: WeChat

This is not the first alleged fraudulent digital yuan app. Similar scams were uncovered in 2021 and 2022. Speaking at the 2023 China (Beijing) Digital Finance Forum on Oct. 13, former People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said:

“As the technical cost is getting lower and the system is becoming more and more convenient, the cost of abuse will become lower and lower.

This tendency “should be paid great attention to in the development of digital currency,” Zhou continued.

Related: New crypto scam drains users’ wallets without transaction approval

Despite its hardline anti-crypto policy, China has experienced several high-profile crypto-related crimes. Rogue foreign exchange traders used cryptocurrencies to export funds from China in an operation worth $2.2 billion that was busted in December.

Chinese authorities have claimed concerns over data theft and money laundering drive their campaign against crypto, but others say the fight against capital flight is their real motivation.

The digital yuan reached $250 billion in transaction volume in 2023. Late that year, a Chinese court seized a digital yuan wallet in a civil case over an investment dispute.

Magazine: Yuan stablecoin team arrested, WeChat’s new Bitcoin prices, HK crypto rules: Asia Express