China has problems with fake wallets copying its digital yuan

A fake digital currency wallet scam that mimics e-CNY, the Central Bank digital currency (CBDC) of China, is being shared across the country’s app stores, according to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. 

The Chinese government warned social media users of a fake variation of the ‘Digital Yuan Test Version’ being listed on app stores. 

The fake wallet reportedly uses ‘dividends’ to manipulate users into sharing the app while also directing them to ‘uncommon social tools’ capable of seizing user funds. 

The app copies the e-CNY app’s logo, color scheme, and user interface but differs in its package name and version number. The government’s statement didn’t disclose exactly which app store the scam wallet is being listed on.

The fake app (bottom) pictured with the legitimate e-CNY one.

Authorities reportedly warned users to be wary of fake apps that rely on patriotism and use get-rich-quick messaging to lure users. It also highlighted the risks of scanning QR codes, visiting untrustworthy websites, and schemes promising high returns without losses.

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China’s CBDC is still undergoing trials. Chinese banks tested cross-border transactions last year while a new pilot is encouraging citizens traveling between Singapore and China to use the CBDC for ‘tourism spending.’

It works by downloading the e-CNY app and linking your bank account to allow spending. The wallet has reportedly been issued 260 million times and Chinese yuan worth tens of billions of dollars has been transacted. 

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