Europol Seizes $1 Million, Arrests 15 In Massive Call Center Fraud

European authorities detained 15 suspected crypto scam individuals and shuttered a large-scale operation of call center networks that allegedly stole tons of of hundreds of thousands of euros from victims by selling counterfeit digital currencies.

In accordance with Europol, the arrest was conducted on January 11, 2023, after German authorities requested an investigation in June of last yr.

Europol, in collaboration with the national law enforcement of Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Serbia, launched raids in 22 different sites. The operation resulted within the capture of 15 people, 14 of them in Serbia and one in Germany.

Massive Crypto Scam Using Different Languages

The criminal gangs operating the fraudulent call centers employed 200 “traders” who preyed on targets using languages in English, Russian, Polish, Hindi, and German to supply deceptive investment options in cryptocurrencies and commodities, defrauding their victims of at the least 3,000,000 euros per thirty days.

Investigators consider that German victims have lost greater than 2 million euros, but disclosed that victims from other nations have also fallen prey to fraudsters.

The criminal network executed a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme wherein they attracted victims via social media by offering “seemingly outstanding” bitcoin investments –  also referred to as ‘Pig Butchering’ cryptocurrency scams – with the promise of considerable and guaranteed earnings.

Image: Ethical Hacking - Nextdoorsec

Named in allusion to the procedure of fattening a pig prior to slaughter, these crypto scam operations sometimes entail fraudsters contacting victims at random, winning their trust, after which tricking them into making fraudulent investments before fleeing with the proceeds.

The criminals initially persuaded the victims to speculate small amounts. The scammers then enticed their victims to transfer additional sums by promising phony pricing increases and handsome earnings.


Image: European Parliament

On Friday, Europol announced:

“The suspects used adverts on social media to guide victims to web sites managed covertly by the criminals that promised what seemed to be great cryptocurrency investment opportunties.”

Cops Confiscate $1 Million In Crypto Scam Raid

Europol revealed that the organization is collaborating with quite a lot of international police forces to “keep ahead of people who abuse crypto-assets to perpetrate crimes and launder money.”

The searched locations yielded electronic equipment, data, and documents, in addition to three hardware wallets containing around $1 million in cryptocurrencies and roughly 50,000 euros in money.

Governments throughout the world are starting to pay closer attention to the illicit usage of cryptocurrency. The US government, for instance, has carried out strong measures against crypto scam services which have been shown to help nefarious acts.

Crypto total market cap at $937 billion on the each day chart | Chart:

In June 2022, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that between January 2021 and March 2022, over 46,000 Americans reported losing greater than $1 billion price of digital currencies to crypto scam.

In October, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a warning regarding ‘Pig Butchering’ investment schemes, wherein criminals steal ever-rising sums of cryptocurrency, as a way to increase understanding amongst cryptocurrency investors who’re being exploited by these frauds.

-Featured image by Michael Crabtree/Getty Images

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