Two persons suspected of defrauding 2,000 Korean victims of approximately €28 million ($28.143 million) have been arrested in Greece and Italy with the help of INTERPOL.
The suspects are detained in connection to their role in an international Ponzi scheme. Both persons – a Polish citizen (49) and a German citizen (61) – were wanted by INTERPOL.
Promising attractive investment returns, the scheme operated via social media chat rooms to promote FutureNet – a global pyramid scheme that urged users to join and invite others between 2016 and 2020. This follows a classic Ponzi scheme model, where threat actors use assets from newcomers to pay earlier investors who made a profit by recruiting new people.
Two suspects managed to defraud thousands of victims of millions by leading them to believe that they could profit from their investment by buying advertisement packs and re-selling them at a higher price to YouTube and Facebook users.
INTERPOL cooperated with local authorities and law enforcement to capture the suspects. As such, the Polish citizen was arrested at Imola race circuit, while the German citizen was detained when attempting to fly into Dubai following the identity check.
“This global investigation underlines the critical nature in the digital age of police collaborating and exchanging information quickly via INTERPOL regarding crime suspects across international boundaries,” said Stephen Kavanagh, INTERPOL’s Executive Director for Police Services, adding that the world only gets smaller for fugitives when there are no borders.
Ponzi schemes are becoming increasingly popular with cybercriminals. Influencer FatMan Terra ran a Ponzi scheme to illustrate how easy it is to profit from gullible crypto owners.
He pitched an investment scheme on Twitter, leaving out crucial details, such as the fund's name. Yet, that didn’t prevent people from sending him over $100,000 in bitcoin.
"I want to send a clear, strong message to everyone in the crypto world – anyone offering to hand you free money is lying. It simply doesn't exist," FatMan Terra said, adding it was "far too easy to scam people in crypto."
Earlier this year, another 11 people were charged for the creation and promotion of Forsage – a Ponzi scheme that raised over $300 million.
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