A raid of four Serbian call centers by European agencies revealed that Australian citizens are the favorite target of crypto scammers.
Despite its innumerable utilities, the blockchain industry is a breeding ground for financial criminals. Due to the sophisticated nature of the technology, it is a challenge for regulatory authorities to prevent crimes. Also, a large number of people are not crypto-savvy. Hence, it is easier for criminals to lure them in the name of various investment schemes.
According to The Australian report, Aussie citizens are targeted because the population is more prosperous, relatively speaking.
Australian Citizens Suffer the Most From Crypto Crimes
The European Agencies from Serbia, Germany, Bulgaria, and Cyprus conducted raids on four Serbian call centers and 11 residences. The authorities arrested 15 people and seized $1.46 million in cryptocurrency.
Social media was the primary tool to hunt for the victims, and Australian citizens were at the top of the list. The victims were tricked in the name of investment opportunities.
According to a Chainalysis crypto crime report, Aussies are among the worst hit in the giveaway, investment, and non-fungible token (NFT) scams.
Scammers Fund Their Lifestyles With Stolen Crypto
According to IFW Global, a private financial crime intelligence firm, the scammers used the proceeds of crypto crimes to fund their lifestyle. Mark Solomons, an executive at IFW Global, says, “We’re talking about individuals who fly around in private jets, who have significant assets, real estate, fancy cars and cash. They are traveling freely around the world, they’re buying yachts.”
In January, the European Agencies dismantled a similar crypto fraud network operating in Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Serbia. They raided 18 locations and seized over $1 million in cryptocurrencies and over €50,000 ($52,686) in cash.
Evidently, those scammers also enjoyed lavish lifestyles, as the agency seized two luxury apartments and three cars.
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