The cryptocurrency news today show that scams are getting more and more frequent in the industry. In the latest news, a millionaire game developer named Marc Merrill was the latest victim of the Singaporean cryptocurrency miner who stole identities in order to use the Amazon Web Services and Google cloud computing power for crypto mining.
In an unsealed court filing on November 7, we could see that Forbes published that Marc Merrill is the co-founder of Riot Games who was the previous anonymous victim of the Singaporean national Matthew Ho’s identity theft scheme. Meanwhile, Riot Games is most famous as a developer which stands behind the massively successful League of Legends game.
Ho used Merrill’s American Express credit card information and went on to buy cloud computing power from Amazon, Google and others. In October, Ho was indicted by the United States prosecutors who said that the total worth of computing services used by Ho was estimated to more than $5 million. The prosecutors also alleged that the cryptocurrency miner became the largest AWS data consumer and said:
“In the few months his scheme remained active, Ho consumed more than $5 million in unpaid cloud computing services with his mining operation and, for a brief period, was one of Amazon Web Services (AWS) largest consumers of data usage by volume. Some of the bills were paid by the California game developer’s financial staff before the fraud was detected.”
The investigators claim that Ho was able to use the social engineering knowledge in order to gain access to admin privileges and large amounts of cloud computing power on Amazon and Google servers – mining various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
Ho also managed to trick Amazon into believing that he was the president of Riot Games – and created a fake Californian driving license that carried the Riot Games and the co-chairman’s name. Even though the Department of Justice charged Ho in early October, the identity of this developer became public only now.
The cryptocurrency miner who stole the mining power is now charged with eight counts of wire fraud, four counts of access device fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
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California Bitcoin Bandit Is Facing 10 Years For Crypto Armed Robbery
“From October 2017 through February 2018, Fitzgerald stole money from five people by using online notices and communications advertising the sale of discount bitcoins, according to court testimony.. She met the victims in person and forcefully took the cash they had brought to purchase the cryptocurrency.”Although they were originally charged with numerous other offenses, the court allowed them both to enter a plea of no contest against a single count of second-degree robbery and then dropped two additional charges against the California Bitcoin Bandit Fitzgerald on two counts of grand theft as well as three counts of child abuse which relates to the time she brought a child along during some of the robberies.Hall is expected to receive up to four years for his involvement and Fitzgerald could earn up to 10 years in prison. Both sentences have been increased since the defendants also pleaded no contest to using a firearm during the robberies. As the situation proposes, Hall will be sentenced on December 17 and will receive four years and a fine of $30,000 in restitution while Fitzgerald will have to serve 10 years in prison and $85,000 in restitution payments.
Malaysian Authorities Arrest Five Bitcoin Mining Robbers
“The purpose of the rent was to monitor the movement of the machines, and their motive for stealing was believed to handle the machines themselves,” the chief of the Malaysian authorities showed.This is not the first time that we reported about a Bitcoin scam involving miners. In 2018, the Icelandic authorities arrested 11 individuals in connection with the 600 missing Bitcoin mining rigs. According to the local police, the organized robbery was the largest ever in the history of the nation.Currently, mining rigs are seen as much easier targets for the average criminal when compared to cryptocurrencies themselves. The hack of exchanges or individual's wallets requires a considerable technological expertise. Mining rigs are also a worthy target since there is no need to resell them so that criminals can profit from the theft. Instead, they could be used to mine BTC (or other cryptocurrencies) without anyone knowing.
Belgium Blacklists 9 Crypto Websites Suspected Of Fraud
“This is a very frequently used technique. However, these are often cases of identity theft. Feel free to ask the FSMA to confirm the information you have received.”A lot of the blacklisted crypto firms were investigated - where regulators found that they purportedly offer financial services without having any compliance with the Belgian financial legislation. Still, most of these firms mentioned in the list operate outside the jurisdiction of the FSMA which makes it almost impossible for the agency to legally charge them.Even though the FSMA cannot charge these websites of fraud, an alert like this one could minimize the risks for potential crypto investors. The big picture shows that as Belgium delists more Bitcoin scam websites, the country is giving a push towards the white-hat approach in fighting crypto crime.The FSMA also went on to add that the blacklist is based only on the findings of the authority and warned that it does not include all of the cryptocurrency companies which might be operating illegally in the country.In June this year, news from the Belgian financial authority FPS Economy showed that a website has been launched in order to raise awareness of the risks linked to crypto investments.
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