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Bitcoin Scams

Scam Report: Romanian BTC Exchange CEO Involved In Illegal Operations



According to the latest crypto news coming from Romania, the exchange executive Vlad Nistor is involved much more deeply than first anticipated in illegal operations of a crypto company.

The reports show that Nistor was a member of a group that conducted phishing attacks in the United States between 2014 and 2015 when CoinFlux was at the beginning of their work. More than 14 Romanian citizens were indicted by federal authorities with Vlad Nistor just being one of them with a lot of business ties and was seen at the time as an upstanding citizen.

He is believed to have shared advice with some active cyber criminals and helped them conduct illegal activities with most of them being phishing attacks on US soil.

Roughly translated the report notes:

 “Two of these methods were run online via phishing or through various fictitious sale ads (via eBay or through online platforms ). For example, Romanians were sending e-mails using instant messaging programs or telephone numbers where the user is advised to give confidential data to win certain prizes or was informed that they are necessary due to technical errors that led to loss of original data. A web address containing a clone of the site of a financial or trading institution was indicated in the e-mail.”

After obtaining the funds from phishing victims, the criminals created accounts on the new CoinFlux exchange to wash the funds via different crypto methods.  Nistor advised the phishers how to dispose of their proceeds using the crypto exchange.

The court has given Nistor a week to make arguments about why he should not be extradited.

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Bitcoin Scams

QuadrigaCX Co-Founder Was Involved In Criminal Activities In The Past

Michael Patryn, the co-founder of the controversial QuadrigaCX exchange was involved in the past in multiple criminal activities in the past according to reports that reached our crypto news today. Patryn co-founded the now defunct Canadian crypto exchange together with Gerald Cotten in 2013. The reports show that Michael Patryn was initially known as Omar Dhanani or known to law enforcement to be involved in multiple crimes while living in the United States. After the passing of the founder and CEO of Quadriga, nearly $145 million in clients’ crypto funds went missing from the exchange. Quadriga is now stuck in legal proceedings after controversial stories emerged in the news that the missing funds could be actually stolen. Ernst & Young were appointed as an independent auditor in order to monitor the creditor protection case. Cotten died of complications of Crohn’s disease. Patryn left the exchange back in 2016 after he claimed to have a huge disagreement with Cotten over listing processes that were happening in the company. According to Canadian news outlets, Patryn and his partner Lovie Horner still remained as the two largest shareholders in QuadrigaCX despite leaving the company three years ago. While of course, Patryn denied all allegations that he used to be Dhanani, reports from official government agencies from Canada show that he legally changed his name twice- in 2003 and 2008. Dhanani was sentenced to 18 months in prison after he was arrested for identity theft and bank and credit card fraud in 2005. The 22-year-old Dhanani pleaded guilty for operating on which is now a non-operating marketplace that had 1.5 million stolen credit card numbers. In 2007 Dhanani also pleaded guilty for multiple criminal cases including grand larceny, burglary, and computer fraud according to the California court records. Patryn later ‘’changed his life around’’ and claimed to be a Bitcoin entrepreneur after he got deported to Canada. He is now allegedly based in Vietnam and serves as a chairman at Fintech Ventures Group which is actually a Canada-based company. Patryn showed he had a lot of experience on his LinkedIn profile where it says that he had been working for QuadrigaCX for 13 years.
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Bitcoin News

Boston Legal System Damaged After BTC Ransomware Attack

The Boston Public Defenders system suffered a bitcoin ransomware attack a couple of days ago but they still chose not to send the bitcoins that the attacked demanded. They decided to use the system’s back-ups to restore the services and in today’s cryptocurrency news we find out more about the attack. According to the Boston Globe, the decision not to pay the ransom means a massive slowdown of the system that will affect everyone within the system. The private attorneys started their work for indigent clients and now receive a small fee from the government. The ransomware attack also managed to interrupt the payments taking place at the moment and also locked up all of the essential digital services of the organization including e-mail usage. As a security measure, the organization went offline in order to clean the viruses. An official statement reads:
 “CPCS’s computer systems have been attacked and are not working properly. We are still representing clients. In addition, there is no evidence that confidential information from clients has been released as a result of these attacks.”
Initially, the attack happened on February 27. The organization believed that paying the ransom means a waste of money so they decided to restore the systems manually. Two weeks after, the entire justice system in Boston can feel the damaging effects. The agency cannot really say how long the delay will last or when they will get back online. In the meantime, people working in the agency cannot use their email or enter the agency’s website. Ransomware attacks became popular in 2015. The attackers mainly targeted police agencies that end up paying the ransom. The public infrastructure is always a target of ransomware attackers since the offer public services and cannot end up being crippled because the people are the ones who pay the higher price. The public defenders didn’t say how much money the attackers demanded. However, the cost to unlock a computer could start from $100 up to thousands of dollars. The attackers usually target victims individually but law enforcement agencies or other government agencies are not excluded. Last year, a couple of Dutch hackers were sentenced to community service after attacking more than 1,000 computer systems and gathering over $11,000.
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Bitcoin Scams

Thieves Steal $200k Worth Of Bitcoin (BTC) Across 7 Canadian Cities

Four scammers are in the latest Bitcoin news for allegedly stealing more than $200,000 from seven different Canadian cities. The heist was pulled off by substituting speed and convenience over security and fund safety - allowing the scammers to get away with the money from several Bitcoin ATMs across the Canadian cities. Police are now on the trail. However, what's more important is the fact that this theft is an indication of how malicious the elements are - and how sophisticated the Bitcoin scams are becoming. With new trends, it is easier to steal Bitcoin than ever before - especially from ATM machines which have always been vulnerable to attacks. On a different note, this heist sends an alarm on ATM manufacturers such as Genesis and CoinSource, motivating them to step up and implement appropriate solutions which will tackle the risks associated with zero-confirmation transactions. Therefore, they will shield ordinary enthusiasts keen on exploring and even experimenting on Bitcoin. Only a small percentage of people knows what Bitcoin actually is. The ones who know how BTC works is even lower. Even though zero-confirm transactions are fast and accepted by some merchants, it can also be disastrous for merchant if these transactions are reversed in a RBF or via double spending with higher fees. The ease execution of this Bitcoin scam is what wonders many. In times when Bitcoin (BTC) is sitting below $4,000 and is in a stable position with no visible gains so far, the $200k worth of BTC that was stolen gave the scammers a bi of an advantage.  
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Bitcoin Scams

OneCoin Founders Charged Of Fraud By US District Attorney

The founders of the international digital currency pyramid scheme OneCoin were charged with fraud after taking part in marketing the coin. The announcement was published by the US Attorney Office today and it reached our crypto news so let’s read more about the decision. OneCoin founders Konstantin Ignatov and his sister Ruja Ignatova were arrested in Los Angeles and were charged with wire fraud, money laundering, and securities fraud by making investors contribute billions of dollars in the cryptocurrency. The fraudulent cryptocurrency was established back in 2014 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The project works as a marketing network where members receive commissions for attracting other investors that are likely to invest in the currency packages. OneCoin at one point had over three million members across the world. When Konstantin was asked how the members can cash out their coins, he told everyone who is interested in cashing out to leave the room because that is not the point of the project. After the charges, the US Attorney of Manhattan said:
 “As alleged, these defendants created a multibillion-dollar ‘cryptocurrency’ company based completely on lies and deceit. They promised big returns and minimal risk, but, as alleged, this business was a pyramid scheme based on smoke and mirrors more than zeroes and ones.  Investors were victimized while the defendants got rich. Our Office has a history of successfully targeting, arresting, and convicting financial fraudsters, and this case is no different.”
The New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. claimed that the defendants created an old-school pyramid scheme compromising the integrity of the entire financial system in New York by defrauding investors for billions of dollars.
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