The astounding amount of €24 million (over $27 million) in cryptocurrency, has been stolen by a fake exchange website, from thousands of victims. Ponzi scheme involving a fake Crypto exchange gets busted.
Europol, the European law enforcement agency, said in a press release, that six individuals have now been arrested. The scam was investigated in an operation that included:
- The UK’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit and National Crime Agency
- The Dutch Police
Five men and one woman were arrested at their homes in several U.K. locations, as well as 2 cities in the Netherlands, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
A “typosquatting” scam in which a “well-known” (but unnamed) online crypto exchange was cloned, is how Europol said the criminal endeavour took place. This was the hoax used to gain access to victims’ crypto wallet login details and steal funds.
Europol says that even though the number of known victims are still growing, it is estimated the scam has led to at least 4,000 victims in 12 countries losing bitcoin to the scam. Ponzi scheme involving a fake Crypto exchange gets busted.
After U.K. authorities identified possible suspects living in the Netherlands, the case was initially referred to the European Cybercrime Centre and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce at Europol.
According to the release, operational meetings organised at Europol’s headquarters between the U.K. and Dutch authorities allowed for the “smooth exchange of intelligence and evidence which led to these successful arrests”.