Six people have been arrested in Europe in relation to the theft of almost $28 million worth of crypto assets. There are thought to be around 4,000 victims of the scam.
Those arrested hail from both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. They were detained earlier today on suspicion of their involvement with the crypto theft.
As Many as 4,000 Duped Out of their Crypto Assets by Scammers
According to a report in Sky News earlier today, six individuals have been arrested in connection to the theft of crypto assets totalling almost $28 million.
The group detained earlier today consists of five men and a woman. They are believed to have been involved in a “typosquatting” scam. This involves spoofing a popular crypto asset exchange to trick people into depositing to a fraudulent version of a trusted trading venue or simply entering their login details to allow the scammer to raid the victim’s account at the official version of the site.
According to the authorities involved in the investigation, as many as 4,000 different victims from more than 12 different countries have been affected. Detective Inspector Louise Boyce of the UK’s South West cyber crime unit commented:
“The investigation has grown from a single report of £17,000 worth of bitcoin stolen from a Wiltshire-based victim to a current estimate of more than 4,000 victims in at least 12 countries.”
Boyce then added that the number of those impacted is only expected to grow and that the investigation this morning had already uncovered a “large number of devices, equipment and valuable assets”.
Three of the suspects have been detained in the UK with the other three taken in by Dutch officials. Those held in the UK are suspected of committing computer misuse and money laundering offences. The report identifies them as a 33- and 30-year-old-man from Bath and a 37-year-old-man from Wiltshire.
Meanwhile, the remaining two men and woman, aged 21, 26, and 29, are all being detained on suspicion of money laundering.
Bull Market Brings All the Scams Out
Although the crypto space is rife with scams most of the time, the efforts of those behind such dubious investment schemes and outright scams are taken up a notch when the price of Bitcoin and other crypto assets are rising. With lots of fresh money entering the market and many investors lured by the several thousand percent gains experienced by others in the market, the prospects of scammers increase significantly during such periods of market optimism.
In fact, recently two popular Bitcoin commentators warned their Twitter followers about the enhanced risk of falling victim to such scams during times of ever-increasing prices. Andreas Antonopoulos and Peter McCormack both provided details of two different scams relying on the community trust of both prominent personalities to dupe gullible newcomers to crypto.
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