Multi-million investment scammers busted in four-country Europol raid – Naked Security

Another day, another series of cryptocurrency scams…

…these, fortunately, brought to a halt, though sadly not before they’d defrauded “investors” around the globe to the tune of millions of dollars.

According to Europol, 216 people were questioned in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany and Serbia; 15 have already been arrested; 22 searches were conducted, including at four separate call centres; and about $1,000,000 in cryptocurrency was seized.

Law enforcement also confiscated €50,000 in cash; got hold of numerous electronic devices, presumably including laptops, servers, phones and backup devices; and towed away three vehicles.

As we’ve mentioned before, scammers’ cars are often at the show-off end of the vehicular spectrum, and thus worth lots of money, but also potentially include valuable forensic evidence from their numerous on-board computer systems.

All a pack of lies

These scammers used a well-known mechanism for drawing in their victims: start small, simulate regular and substantial gains via totally fictitious online reports, and use this bogus “success” as a lure to convince victims to invest more and more.

Europol notes that although most of the victims seem to be from Germany, where this investigation started, the scammers are known to have fleeced people worldwide, including in Switzerland, Australia and Canada.

Remember that in a scam of this sort, the criminals often allow victims to withdraw a percentage of their “gains”, as a way of convincing them that their investments really do have some sort of “liquidity” and aren’t just being swallowed up forever.

Of course, all they’re really doing is giving you a small fraction of your own money back, under the guise of an interest payment or some other gain in capital value.

Likewise, given that all the “gains” you are looking at are ficticious, concocted via a fake “trading” website that shows everyone’s investments booming, it’s easy for the crooks to pretend to pay you…

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