Authorities in Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Cyprus have taken down a cryptocurrency scam network in collaboration with Europol. “The suspects used advertisements on social networks to lure victims to websites covertly operated by the criminals, which offered seemingly exceptional investment opportunities in cryptocurrencies,” Europol detailed.
Authorities Cracking Down on Cryptocurrency Scams
Europol announced Thursday that authorities from Bulgaria, Serbia, Cyprus, and Germany, in collaboration with Europol and Eurojust, have taken down “call centers selling fake crypto.”
The criminal network, operating through call centers, “lured victims into investing large amounts of money into fake cryptocurrency schemes,” Europol explained, elaborating:
The suspects used advertisements on social networks to lure victims to websites covertly operated by the criminals, which offered seemingly exceptional investment opportunities in cryptocurrencies.
Fifteen people have been arrested in the case while 261 were questioned and 22 locations were searched, including four call centers. The authorities also seized three hardware wallets containing about $1 million in cryptocurrencies, approximately 50,000 euros in cash, three vehicles, electronic equipment, documents, and data backups.
Victims, primarily from Germany, were initially convinced to invest small sums of money. “Fake price hikes leading to supposedly lucrative profits for investors then persuaded them to make transfers of higher amounts,” the EU law enforcement agency noted, adding:
Currently, it is estimated that the financial damage to German victims is over two million euro.
Europol further revealed that there are also victims in other countries, including Switzerland, Australia, and Canada.
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Author: Kevin Helms