Since July 2022, a global law enforcement effort coordinated by European government agencies has worked with cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and companies to stop cross-border crypto frauds. This investigation has also revealed a criminal call center network. By the end of 2022, con artists began to concentrate on defrauding cryptocurrency investors, trying to recover their yearlong losses.
Officials from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, and Serbia have been working with Europol and Eurojust, two EU agencies for law enforcement cooperation, since June 2022. Both of these organizations are part of the European Union. The investigation uncovered a criminal organization responsible for causing losses of over 2.1 million dollars, most of which were sustained by German investors.
How did the fraud happen?
According to Europol, the con artists persuaded their victims to invest in fake cryptocurrency investment websites and programs, some of which originated in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada. This revelation finally led to establishing of a task force responsible for conducting inquiries across international borders.
Swindlers who operated out of four contact centers in eastern Europe convinced people who may become victims to part with additional cash by assuring them that they would make a lot of money from minimal wagers. Given the number of crimes that haven’t been recorded, Europol estimates that the total amount of money lost might be hundreds of millions of euros.
In the investigation, 261 persons were interrogated, 22 places in the EU were investigated, and 30 people in total were detained, including two people in Bulgaria, two people in Cyprus, three people in Germany, and 214 people in Serbia. Throughout the investigation, wallet hardware, cash, autos, electronic equipment, and documents were also taken into custody.
Crypto hacks smearing mud on the crypto ecosystem
The crypto community continues a proactive strategy to undermine fraudsters through bold warning announcements, hack prevention patches, and public education, while scammers pose as government agencies and corporations.
ImmuneFi, a firm that specializes in bug bounties and offers security services, was the organization that carried out the study. According to what was discovered, the bitcoin business suffered a total loss of $3.9 billion in 2022.
Hacks were responsible for the loss from the whole lot 95.6% of the time, with fraud, scams, and rug pulls accounting for the remaining 4.4% of the loss. Ethereum and BNB Chain were the blockchains with the most significant assaults.
To protect the public and regain investor trust, Immunefi CEO Mitchell Amador suggested: “proactively finding and addressing weaknesses.”