English and Dutch authorities have arrested six people who created a fake crypto exchange website that managed to steal around €24 million worth of crypto from more than 4000 victims in over 12 countries according to a Europol press release, June 25, 2018.
Growth in Cyber Police Powers
On the 25th of June, authorities arrested six people as part of an investigation into the theft of more than €24 million worth of cryptocurrencies according to a press release of the European law enforcement agency Europol.
The investigation also undertaken by the UK’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SW RCCU) led to the arrest of five men and one woman at their homes scattered within the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The thieves are accused of “typosquatting”: creating an imitation of popular exchange to persuade victims to send Bitcoins or their login details in order to steal their funds. According to SW RCCU, the number of victims could be up to four thousand in twelve different countries. Detective inspector Louise Boyce said that the warrants were the result of a 14-month investigation that started from the reported theft of £17k worth BTC from a Wiltshire-based victim.
Dutch police are currently seizing a large number of devices, equipment, and valuable assets with the major support of the United Kingdom authorities.
Police are also asking for other victims to get in touch and bring more evidence on the case.
The SW RCCU is asking potential victims to contact them via email at [email protected]
“Copycat websites are unfortunately far too common in the burgeoning cryptocurrency ecosystem. We are thankful for the SW RCCU’s efforts in policing bad actors and urge those with information to assist in their investigation.”
Online scams are still a reality in the crypto universe, but authorities are certainly raising their awareness towards it and, with it, many similar actions are expected to hit the news in the next months.