Six arrested for crypto scam, over €750K seized

Six Austrian nationals have been found responsible for an online cryptocurrency scam that posed as a legitimate online trading platform.

Europol and Eurojust supported the investigation led by agencies from Austria, Cyprus, and Czechia, which targeted the creators of a new cryptocurrency launched in December 2017, Europol said.

“After performing six house searches, law enforcement seized over €500,000 in cryptocurrencies and €250,000 in fiat currency and froze dozens of bank accounts. Furthermore, two cars and a luxury property worth €1.4 million were seized.”

These scammers posed as a legitimate online trading platform that issued a new form of cryptocurrency.

The ICO, or initial coin offering, amounted to approximately 10 million tokens or rights to the new currency, said Europol.

To gain credibility, these scammers claimed to have created their own software and unique algorithm to sell the tokens. This led investors to invest their already established cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, into the false business.

However, in February 2018, the fraudsters promptly closed the project’s social media accounts and shut down the “company’s” website.

Once this had been done and the exit scam was complete, investors soon realized that they had been defrauded.

Despite the six arrests, the number of people who fell victim to this scheme remains unknown.

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