The U.S. Department of Justice seized six cryptocurrency accounts on April 3rd, totaling approximately $112 million in assets that had been obtained through crypto investment fraud.
The DOJ stated that the virtual currency accounts were allegedly utilized to launder the proceeds of several crypto confidence scams.
In “pig butchering” scams, which are described in the statement, scammers frequently use “social networking and online communications platforms, dating websites, phone calls, and text messages that are supposed to look to have been misdialed” to find their victims. After winning over their trust, scammers explain the concept of trading cryptocurrencies and convince their victims to put money into crypto-related schemes where the money is then transferred to their accounts.
To establish confidence, victims could notice outward improvements and even withdraw some cash. They are unable to withdraw their money after making a significant investment, though. With the promise of access to the account, scammers may ask for further funds for taxes or fees. Until the victim’s money run out, the swindle continues.
One of the victims of a fraud involving cryptocurrency investments was a lady who was approached on LinkedIn by a man named “Fei Kuang,”
Fei Kuang promised to assist the victim after finding that she already had a little cryptocurrency account. Ultimately, Fei Kuang persuaded the victim to spend additional money and transfer her funds to a different, possibly fake, trading platform. She was instructed to pay 20% in “taxes” when she attempted to withdraw her money. The woman recognized she was a victim of a fraud that cost her nearly $2.5 million when the trading platform demanded more money, according to the DOJ.
Investment fraud caused the most losses of any scam, totaling $3.31 billion, according to data recently released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3). The government reported that from $907 million in 2021 to $2.57 billion in 2022, crypto investment fraud increased by 183%.