Phantom Wallet Victim Sues Google Over Fake App

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  • The victim of a fake Phantom Wallet app is suing Google
  • Jacob Pearlman lost over $800,000 worth of cryptocurrencies and NFTs when he installed a fake app from the Google Play Store
  • The case acts as a reminder to go through official channel for app downloads

The victim of a scam involving a fake Phantom Wallet app on the Google Play Store is suing the company, claiming it is responsible for his loss. Jacob Pearlman is suing the company after he lost $800,000 worth of cryptocurrencies and NFTs due to the fake wallet on the grounds that it shouldn’t have allowed the fraudulent app onto the platform. The case raises once again the issue of exactly what platforms like Google Play are responsible for, and reinforces the importance of going through official channels to obtain apps, or at least checking purported apps first.

Pearlman Downloaded Fake Phantom Wallet

Pearlman says that he downloaded the Android version of the Phantom Wallet, a popular Solana wallet, in October of 2021 and transferred $800,000 worth of “SAMO, USDC, ORCA, and SOL, as well as four additional NFTs”. There was only one problem – the official Phantom Wallet wouldn’t come out for another four months.

Pearlman had downloaded a fake wallet and, as a result, saw his funds disappear shortly afterward. The complaint says that Google “breached its own warranty and Terms of Service by offering a fraudulent app, failing to warn Pearlman that the app may be unsafe, and failing to block Pearlman’s download of the app.”

Go Through Official Channels for App Downloads

Of course, it’s not for use to debate the responsibilities of app providers to their users, but what we do learn from the filing is that the Phantom community was bemoaning the fake apps in the various app stores before Pearlman downloaded it, and a simple check by Pearlman with Phantom would have led him to realise that the app was a fake.

While this does not absolve Google of blame, it is another reminder that crypto is a shady world at times, and you should always go through official channels when seeking apps to download. If you do download without checking, or you’re unsure, send a test amount to ensure it is safe before transferring more.