European Union authorities coming after cross-border crypto fraudsters

The European government has been working with cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and companies to stop cross-border crypto fraud since July 2022. This investigation uncovered a criminal call center network as well.

By the end of 2022, con artists had shifted their focus to defrauding cryptocurrency investors in an attempt to recoup their yearlong losses. 

Since June 2022, officials from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, and Serbia have been collaborating with Europol and Eurojust, two European Union agencies for law enforcement cooperation. These two organizations are both members of the EU.

The investigation uncovered a criminal organization responsible for over 2.1 million dollars in losses, the majority of which were sustained by German investors. 

How did the fraud happen?

According to Europol, the scammers duped their victims into investing in bogus cryptocurrency investment websites and programs, some of which originated in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada. This revelation eventually resulted in the formation of a task force tasked with conducting cross-border investigations.

Swindlers operating out of four contact centers in Eastern Europe persuaded potential victims to part with additional funds by promising large sums of money for small bets.

Given the number of unrecorded crimes, Europol estimates that the total amount of money lost could be in the hundreds of millions of euros. 

Cryptocurrency hacks smearing mud on the crypto ecosystem

While scammers pose as government agencies and corporations, the crypto community maintains a proactive strategy to undermine fraudsters through bold warning announcements, hack prevention patches, and public education.

The study was carried out by Immune, a company that specializes in bug bounties and security services. According to what was discovered, the bitcoin industry lost $3.9 billion in 2022. 

Hacks were responsible for 95.6% of the total loss, with fraud, scams, and rug pulls accounting for the remaining 4.4% of the total loss. The blockchains with the most significant attacks were Ethereum and BNB Chain.

Immunefi CEO Mitchell Amador proposed “proactively identifying and addressing vulnerabilities” to protect the public and regain investor trust. 

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