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Bitcoin Scams

More Than A Dozen Of Suspects Arrested In Taiwan For $8 Million Crypto Scam

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About 15 people were arrested in Taipei, Taiwan for being included in an alleged crypto scam worth approximately $8 million according to the announcements of Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau that reached our crypto news today.

The scam was focused on a cryptocurrency named IBCoin which was meant mainly to attract investors. 2018 was already a bad enough year for the crypto industry when talking about scams since there were about $3 billion in losses reported and this current one is probably the biggest one in all Asia.

The CIB made the announcement on Saturday that they have successfully arrested 15 suspects that took part in the scam that defrauded more than 30 investors out of more than $8.15 million.

Though there aren’t any clear details at this moment, the CIB’s investigation Corps chief Li Chi-hsun confirmed that the 15 suspects have been detained after two raids that happened on January 9 and January 17. He also confirmed that the ringleader of the group has also been apprehended.

The ringleader now only known as Li used his connections to buy IBCoins for only NT1.5 a piece in 2017 and later made the investors purchase the same coin for NT50-100 a piece while promising huge returns on their investment.

The group used the money to afford luxury apartments and cars which they posted pictures of on social media to lure investors and buy the coin. Of course, the investors who invested their money never received any return on their investment.

According to local authorities, the IBCoin is basically worthless. They also seized only a small portion of the money about $70,000.

All of the suspects are charged with fraud and the case has been handed to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

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Bitcoin Scams

Crypto Criminals Prefer Bitcoin According To Blockchain Forensics

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Crypto criminals seem to love Bitcoin when it comes to choosing a weapon of choice when doing the crime. The latest cryptocurrency news shows you the results from the Chainalysis firm analysis that conclude 95% of the crypto crimes are related to the number one cryptocurrency. The results aren’t surprising since bitcoin is among the most widely used cryptocurrencies out of all 2,000 and most popular as well. Crypto criminals prefer Bitcoin according to the co-founder of Chainalysis Jonathan Levin. He says that BTC is still preferred more than privacy coins such as Monero because it is most traded. This turns out to be true since many of the recent drug busts reports show that the buyers used Bitcoin to pay the drugs. The forensic analysis is extremely useful for the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and Homeland Security since they are trying hard to break down illegal drug activities. While explaining the preferred weapons of the crypto criminals, Levin stated:
 “There is the ability to tie some of those cryptocurrency transactions either to the pharmacies in China or to the services that people are using to distribute fentanyl. Homeland Security and the DEA have actually become really good at apprehending those people.”
Chainalysis actually makes software that can trace all of the transactions that are recorded on public blockchains to find the identity of the individual with the crypto funds. According to the coming altcoin news, the analytics company is among the best blockchain contractors by the US government. Back in 2018, it received $5.3 million from the US government. Their job is to try and analyze the behavior of the crypto criminals and to improve the tracking system. A week ago, Chainalysis decided to expand its real-time transaction monitoring for 10 popular cryptocurrencies including Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin since it is the favorite tool for crypto criminals. Tether was also a part of the list as a part of the game plan to take down money laundering. The company announced:
 “Since 2014, Chainalysis Reactor has been recognized as the leading blockchain analytics tool, playing a critical role in combating exchange hacks, darknet markets, ransomware, and terrorist financing. Over 100 customers in 35 countries rely on Chainalysis KYT (Know Your Transaction) to screen transactions in real-time and receive alerts on suspicious activity.”
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Bitcoin Scams

New Bitcoin Laundering Case: $3 Million Stolen In A NY Drug-Infused Scam

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Two New Yorkers have recently pleaded guilty in a new Bitcoin laundering case which saw more than $3 million stolen in a drug-infused scheme. Named Callaway Crain and Mark Sanchez, the Bitcoin scammers are in the latest cryptocurrency news for earning money by selling steroids and controlled substances - mostly in Bitcoin. Their first arrest was about a year ago. What the police found in this Bitcoin laundering scam was Crain and Sanchez as the main mobsters operating with this scam on the dark webs. They first left New York in 2015 to continue their enterprise in Texas. Right now, the guilty plea has given them guaranteed sentences of 7.5 years for each and no less than 2.5 years accordingly. The New Yorkers are convicted of a second degree money laundering and fifth-degree drug trafficking, both felonies in this new Bitcoin laundering case. As a note shared on the Manhattan District Attorney's page shows, the two New Yorkers manufactured the steroids themselves in private residences - selling them to at least one NFL player and a few other prominent people. Crain and Sanchez even sold their drugs to police officers. The note explains the new Bitcoin laundering case in detail:
“The defendants purchased steroids, precursor chemicals, and other controlled substances wholesale from China and other countries. After obtaining the chemicals and substances, they mixed, pressed, and packaged them, often under brand names they created; advertised and sold them online; and shipped them to customers in all 50 states and sixteen countries. Their customers included a college football player, an NFL football player, a professional volleyball player, fitness trainers, police officers, members of the armed services deployed overseas, body builders, drug dealers, doctors, lawyers, and a high school athletic coach.”
However, what the notice fails to mention is the name of the exchange the men used to convert from crypto to cash. Even though this new Bitcoin laundering case was re-shared on many best cryptocurrency news sites, we see no link to an exchange. Some report that the scammers just hopped the coins to an intermediary wallet before depositing them on exchanges.
“Customers also made payments through Western Union. Those payments were laundered through the use of false identities, or through international wire transfers from foreign-based receivers,” the notice states.
In total, there were about 10,000 orders moved to 16 countries - even though the business was primarily set up in the United States. Therefore, this is one of the biggest Bitcoin laundering cases and luckily, the scammers have been caught.
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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

Microsoft Korea Claims The Country Is Suffering From Cryptojacking Incidents

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Microsoft Korea claims that the country is having a lot of problems with the ever-increasing cryptojacking incidents. According to a report that comes in our latest cryptocurrency news, there is a massive increase in malicious hack attacks. The report from the English-written Korea Times published today shows that the Microsoft Korea security manager Kim Gwi-Ryun announced the information in a press conference today in Seoul while releasing the annual security intelligence report. As we have mentioned hundreds of times before, cryptojacking is a malicious practice when a hacker is using the computer’s processing power in order to mine cryptocurrency without previously gaining consent or knowledge. According to the Korea Times, crypto mining incidents in South Korea have a really low rate at 0.05 percent which was 58 percent lower than the general world average level. However, Microsoft Korea stated:
"We have noticed that as the value of cryptocurrency rises and falls, so does the mining encounter rate."
Kim Gwi-ryun from Microsoft Korea isolated the malicious practice from a different cybersecurity attack vectors that were noted in the country. For example, supply chain malware and phishing attempts were all looked into. The representative pointed out that Microsoft detected many market correlations in the fluctuating prevalence cryptojacking and outlined:
‘’As the report notes, stealth cryptojacking is difficult to detect and largely manifests itself in compromised system performance due to the intensive drain on processing power that crypto mining presents.’’
As DC Forecasts has previously reported in the altcoin news, cryptojacking became a widely used criminal activity to make a lot of money. For instance, two Romanian cybercriminals were convicted after a lengthy joint investigation by the United States Federal Investigation Bureau and the Romanian National Police for using this method to make extra money similar as to what the tech giant Microsoft Korea warns about. Also, an AT&T report from March shows that cryptojacking is one of the largest objectives of the hackers who are mostly targeting businesses’ cloud infrastructures and, especially in a bear market. The same month a new Trojan malware appeared for Android phones which targets crypto app users that have an installed Coinbase or BitPay app on their phones. Microsoft Korea is thus working hard to prevent similar cryptojacking attacks.
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