Europol, the pan European police agency, has assisted in the arrest of a total of 10 cybercriminals who siphoned off $100 million in cryptocurrencies using the so-called SIM-swapping technique. The official press release detailed that the perpetrators targeted high-profile victims, famous internet influencers, sports stars, musicians, and their families in the United States. “The attacks orchestrated by this cybercriminal gang targeted thousands of victims throughout 2020,” Europol stated.
The cybercriminal gang is believed to have stolen USD 100 million in cryptocurrencies.
“The criminals are believed to have stolen from them over USD 100 million in cryptocurrencies after illegally gaining access to their phones.” The arrests came after a year-long investigation made by the collaboration of authorities in the United Kingdom, United States, Belgium, Malta, and Canada. Europol coordinated the international operations across Europe. The recent eight arrests were made following the two arrests, one in Malta and the other in Belgium. “Initiated in the spring of 2020, the investigation discovered how a network composed of a dozen criminals worked together to access the victims’ phone numbers and take control of their apps or accounts by changing the passwords,” Europol added.
South African authorities warn against rising crypto scams.
Earlier, South Africa’s financial authority issued a warning against the rising number of cryptocurrency scams in the country. The warning came after over 260,000 investors lost close to a billion dollars in a local BTC Ponzi scheme. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warned that it’s receiving many complaints from South African investors who have lost their savings through cryptocurrency scams. The financial watchdog reminded investors that digital currency investments “are not regulated by the FSCA or any other body in South Africa.”