The European Law Enforcement Agencies dismantled a crypto fraud network and seized over $1 million in cryptocurrencies and €50,000 in cash.
Recently, the favorite trick of fraudsters has been to lure innocent citizens by offering lucrative investment opportunities through cryptocurrencies. Social media has made it easier not only for businesses but also for fraudsters to scale across various nations.
According to a press release, Eurojust and Europol, the European Union Agencies, collaborated to dismantle the crypto fraud network operating from Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Serbia.
15 People Arrested for Crypto Fraud Across Europe
The European Agencies have arrested 15 people so far for running a crypto fraud network that defrauded citizens of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, and Canada of more than €10 million.
The fraudsters used to operate through four call centers. The European Agencies identified over 250 workplaces and raided 18 locations. During these raids, they seized three cars, two luxury apartments, $1 million in cryptocurrencies, and over €50,000 in cash.
The press release reads, “The network attracted potential investors online and often contacted victims by phone to lure them into doing small investments, speaking English and German. After initial gains, victims invested more money, which they subsequently lost.”
Scammers Use Artificial Intelligence for Malicious Activities
Artificial Intelligence has taken the internet by storm in recent months. But with great use cases always comes a greater chance of the tech being utilized by scammers.
People might identify a scam when they receive calls or direct messages from an unknown person. But what if they get a video message from well-known personalities?
Scammers are creating manipulated videos of well-known personalities by using Artificial Intelligence. Such content is called Deepfake. A video of Sam Bankman-Fried directing viewers to a fake website by luring them with giveaways was popular in November when the firm filed for bankruptcy.
The community needs to increase awareness, so people do not fall for such scams. It is essential to refrain from clicking on links received on social media DMs from strangers. Additionally, whenever a deepfake video is in circulation, users should do some verification tests before taking action.
To tackle crypto fraud, crime departments and agencies should be well-equipped with knowledge regarding blockchain and other necessary technologies. UK National Crime Agency has announced a special crypto unit to deal with crypto crimes.
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