A fake Cryptocurrency exchange led to losses amounting to nearly $27 million. Thousands of people have lost money on operations that most likely took place in the UK and the Netherlands.
On Wednesday, June 26, Europol issued a statement
in which it informed about detaining six people as a consequence of them being related to the scam
. The British National Crime Agency
and the Dutch police
participated in the operation as well. Five men and one woman were arrested in their homes in Great Britain and in the Netherlands.
Europol described the case as typosquatting
(a so-called URL kidnapping). It is a technique based on user deception with the use of typos made when entering URLs. As it was reported, a "well-known" (although not mentioned by name) cryptocurrency exchange fell the victim of it. It was in a way "cloned" to obtain the data necessary to take over the data of users' wallets, and therefore also to take over their funds.
The scam attracted about four thousand users in twelve countries. And, according to Europol, this is not the final number of victims. Mainly Bitcoins were stolen.
Scam in the UK
Great Britain does not have a good streak when it comes to scams. There have been many cases in the last year there and the losses are estimated at tens of millions of pounds
. As many as 80%
of them were associated with cryptocurrencies.
The last case was Tesco
, which fell victim to hacking on Twitter
. Hackers took control over Tesco's Twitter account and through a special wallet they tried to extort Bitcoins from users. However, customers were so vigilant that there was not a single payment sent to the given address.