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Bitcoin Scams

California Student Sentenced For 10 Years After BTC SIM-Swap Hack

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California student, the 21-year-old man from Boston has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after he stole $7.5 million in BTC. He was able to do the crime by hacking the victims’ phones by using the method ‘’SIM swapping’’ which we are about to find out more in today’s altcoin news.

This is reportedly the first arrest and conviction in the United States for using this criminal method. The SIM swap method is when the hacker clones the victim’s sim cards in order to hack their smartphones and gains access to their accounts. The California student, Joel Ortiz, and his friend targeted people who are already in the crypto industry. Ortiz managed to steal millions in 2018 after he was able to hack people’s smartphones at Consensus which as an industry conference hosted by the crypto news site CoinDesk.

The California student stole more than $7.5 million from about 40 people according to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office reports:

 “Ortiz was a prolific SIM swapper who targeted victims to steal cryptocurrency and to take over social media accounts with the goal of selling them for Bitcoin. After his thefts, Ortiz spent his loot lavishly – including $10,000 nights at Los Angeles clubs, hiring a helicopter to bring him and some friends to a music festival, and on Gucci luggage and clothing.”

Joel Ortiz was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Santa Clara County Judge Edward Lee after hearing the victims on how they got their lives ruined when he stole all their money. The DA’s office also explained the SIM swapping method:

“Hackers call a telecom company posing as their target and claim that their SIM card has been lost, and that they would like their number to be ported to a new card. The criminals can convince phone companies that they are who they claim to be by providing stolen Social Security numbers or addresses.”

Joel Ortiz also stole more than $1 million from Ross when he gained access to his cell phone and his accounts that led him to the crypto exchanges. Ross never heard about this method before until he lost all of his money. He is now urging cell phone providers to offer better security measures to help the victims as the latest cryptocurrency news reports show.

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Bitcoin Scams

Dutch Crypto Scammer Steals $2.2M In BTC Mining Fraud

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Dutch crypto scammer Berry van Mourik managed to steal at least $2.24 million in a bitcoin mining investment scam. Following the latest cryptocurrency news, authorities in the Netherlands arrested the suspect in Apeldoorn which a city in the province of Gelderland. According to the reports by the daily De Gelrderlander, the scammer started the scheme in 2017. Van Mourik was a senior executive of two firms which he used to sell bitcoin mining rigs. He asked investors to buy the rigs saying that he will operate the bitcoin mining operations on their behalf. The dutch crypto scammer promised the investors massive monthly returns of about 0.3 bitcoin. However, the investors didn’t get the promised returns but they also didn’t get the mining rigs they ordered. Investigations showed that the mining rigs were never acquired by van Mourik in the first place. He used the money to afford a lavish lifestyle that included gambling, buying expensive cars and traveling. His home and business offices were raided in 2018 and most of his possessions are seized. According to the altcoin news reports, about 100 people were scammed by Van Mourik. This was not the first time he got in trouble with the law. For example, back in February 2018, the court in Amsterdam declared his bitcoin mining firm bankrupt. The investors never got their mining rigs and each investor put about 3,000 euros which they eventually lost. Some of the investors contacted him and he offered excuses that he was not in the country or he is having trouble with the harsh crypto market conditions. Van Moruik eventually denied the accusations. The Dutch bitcoin mining scam is similar to one reported earlier in China. In that fraud, multiple people lost about $300 million when the Chinese police discovered the scam. The fraudulent scheme included selling mining machines that could mine multiple cryptocurrencies. More than 300,000 mining rigs were sold and each unit was priced at $840. The scheme lured investors by saying to their customers they could recoup their investments within two months. The price of one of the tokens CAI increased up to $0.29. Consequently, many investors bought hundreds of mining rigs hoping to make tons of money.
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Bitcoin Scams

Firefox Quantum Browser Adopts New Anti Cryptojacking Features

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The Firefox Quantum browser has recently updated its open-source edition with a new privacy toggle that protects users against cryptojacking, as the latest cryptocurrency news show. In a blog post published by Mozilla on May 21, there is an announcement about the new privacy toggle that protects users against malicious crypto practices.
"Today’s new Firefox release continues to bring fast and private together right at the crossroads of performance and security. It includes improvements that continue to keep Firefox fast while giving you more control and assurance through new features that your personal information is safe while you’re online with us," the Firefox Quantum release notes.
Previously, Mozilla warned its audience that websites can deploy scripts that may launch a crypto miner on any user's machine - even without them being aware. This practice is known as cryptojacking in the world of cryptocurrency. In order to combat these practices, the Firefox Quantum was developed as a product of partnership between Mozilla and the online privacy company Disconnect. The crypto mining blocker was created to block people on their browser. As of now, users can toggle an opt-in feature that would block would-be cryptojackers from taking advantage of spare computing power and mining cryptocurrencies. Users can take a look and see how much faster Firefox is today at the following video, which went viral on many best cryptocurrency news sites because of the anti-cryptojacking features. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzqJ09_cn28 In August 2018, Firefox featured cryptojacking protection - to later update them in its Nightly 68 and Beta 67 versions which emerged this April, just before the launch of the Firefox Quantum browser. The open-source Quantum also aims to mitigate the practices of so-called "fingerprinting" which makes a sort of a digital fingerprint of a user that is employed in order to monitor their activities on the Internet. In another report published in the altcoin news on April 23 by the cybersecurity company MalwareBytes, cryptojacking was called "essentially extinct" and:
“Marked by the popular drive-by mining company CoinHive shutting down operations in early March, consumer cryptomining seems to have gone the way of the dodo. Detections of consumer-focused bitcoin miners have dropped significantly over the last year and even from last quarter, while business-focused miners have increased from the previous quarter, especially in the APAC region.”
So, the steps that Mozilla took in its Firefox Quantum definitely ramp up the browsing experience from a crypto perspective.  
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Bitcoin Scams

Crypto And Forex Scams Got Away With $34 Million In 2018: UK Report

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The main financial regulator of the United Kingdom is in the coming altcoin news. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently reported that crypto investors in the country lost more than $34 million due to crypto and forex scams from 2018 to 2019. The news were first reported by the Financial Times on May 20. As the data shows (gathered from the UK national fraud and cybercrime reporting center Action Fraud), the individual loss due to scams has decreased from $76,000 to $18,500 while the total losses fell by more than $14 million - being featured on many best cryptocurrency news sites. Still, the crypto and forex scams were a subject in many reports and their number tripled to reach 1,834 with more than 81% of them being crypto scam claims. Right now, the FCA is actively considering a ban on "high-risk derivative products linked to crypto assets." As the FCA executive director Mark Steward said in his statement related to crypto and forex scams:
“Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal.”
The report is a viral topic in the latest cryptocurrency news - mostly because the FCA stated that scammers use social media to find potential investors. According to the regulator, crypto and forex scams like these often use pictures of celebrities with fake endorsements alongside images of luxury goods such as cars and watches. In 2018, the initial coin offering (ICOs) advisory firm Statis Group released a study in which it found that more than 80% of ICOs in 2017 were scams. The associated losses for that year, as the study showed, totaled around $1.34 billion. In the latest altcoin news, we can also see that new evidence surfaced, suggesting that purported Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Goxtrade is a Bitcoin scam. As the evidence shows, Goxtrade reportedly used the real names and photos of unaffiliated parties including the blockchain figure Amber Baldet to fill their website staff page and its absent from the UK's registry of companies and businesses. All in all, the number of crypto and forex scams is increasing and there must be certain regulation to prevent these billions which are lost on a yearly basis.  
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Bitcoin Scams

Investor Sues OneCoin Scheme Seeking Class Action

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A former OneCoin investor named Christine Grablis is right now suing the cryptocurrency investment scheme for fraud. As an official complaint in the latest cryptocurrency news shows, the investor sues OneCoin while seeking damages and a class action suit to represent other investors which have been purportedly defrauded by the company. The full list of defendants in the lawsuit includes Grablis on one side and OneCoin Ltd. on the other - as well as the founder of OneCoin, Ruja Ignatova along with her colleagues Konstantin Ignatov, Sebastian Greenwood, Mark Scott and other potential parties that are unnamed yet. Now that an investor sues OneCoin, the topic of the fraudulent scheme is again brought and featured by many best cryptocurrency news sites. One Bloomberg report published on May 7 and featured on a lot of crypto currency websites shows that Ruja Ignatova (founder of OneCoin) has been charged with wire fraud, securities fraud as well as money laundering. On the other hand, the investor sues OneCoin and its other member which include Ruja's younger brother (Konstantin) who is the purported executive at OneCoin and who was already charged with fraud and money laundering in March this year. The investor sues OneCoin in a class action complaint where Greenwood is the co-founder and the "public face" of OneCoin. Mark Scott is listed as a licensed attorney who is using his legal knowledge to help the company launder money via hedge funds. Grablis has hired a law firm named Silver Miller to carry out the complaint. This firm specializes in representing cryptocurrency investors and has issued a press release instructing many of the investors in the scheme that an investor sues OneCoin and that they can do the same and participate in the class action lawsuit too. As we previously reported on our altcoin news site, OneCoin was a global phenomenon and a Ponzi Scheme that used nothing but "smoke and mirrors" tactics to maintain some air of legitimacy - scamming users to invest in the pyramid scheme and potentially hold virtual coins. Through multi level marketing (ML), the scheme sold education materials for trading along with tokens that could be used to mine OneCoins.
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