Authorities in Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia and Cyprus have busted a crypto-currency scam ring in collaboration with Europol. “The suspects used advertisements on social networks to lure victims to websites secretly operated by the criminals, which offered seemingly amazing investment opportunities in crypto-currencies“, Europol detailed.
Authorities are cracking down on crypto-currency scams.
Europol announced Thursday that authorities in Bulgaria, Serbia, Cyprus and Germany, in collaboration with Europol and Eurojust, have dismantled “call centers selling fake crypto-currencies“.
The criminal network, which operated through call centers, “lured victims to invest large sums of money in fake crypto-currencies“, explained Europol, elaborating:
The suspects used ads on social networks to lure victims to websites secretly operated by the criminals, which offered seemingly exceptional investment opportunities in cryptocurrencies.
Fifteen people were arrested in connection with the case, while 261 were questioned and 22 sites were searched, including four call centers. Authorities also seized three physical wallets containing about $1 million in cryptocurrencies, about 50,000 euros in cash, three vehicles, electronic equipment, documents and data backups.
The victims, mostly German, were initially convinced to invest small amounts of money. “False price increases leading to supposedly lucrative profits for investors then persuaded them to transfer larger amounts“, the EU law enforcement agency noted, adding:
Currently, the financial damage suffered by the German victims is estimated to be more than two million euros.
Europol has also revealed that there are also victims in other countries, including Switzerland, Australia and Canada.