Cryptocurrency Crimes: The Ugly Side to Crypto

Altcoin News | Bitcoin News | Crypto News | ICO News | Latest News

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has opened doors to many new innovations and has positively impacted people all over the world. Along with the positive roles it’s played in this world, the crypto sphere has brought a few problems.

Cryptocurrency related crimes have been on the rise over the last several years. The anonymity of these transactions has attracted the attention of many criminal organizations in order to utilize these little nuggets of digital gold as an opportunity for kidnapping, money laundering and other illegal activity.

Law enforcement agencies around the world are trying hard to find a way to track and stop these criminal activities. We’ll share with you a few cases studies where law enforcement handled such issues.

FREE CRYPTO COIN JUNKY HANDBOOK - 147 page guide covering Crypto Fundamentals, Beginners/Advanced Crypto Trading Strategies, Crypto Mining Techniques, ICO Investment strategies, and so much more.

CRYPTO TRADING STRATEGY GUIDES - Whether You're Day Trading, Swing Trading, Or Just Investing...Our Extensive Guides Will Get You To Where You Want To Be.

ICO Scams (Initial Coin Offerings)

ico-scams-and-fake-alerts

This is one of the most popular crypto crimes in the world of today. Criminals create a fake project to attract willing investors, pretend to launch an ICO, and collect money in the form of BTC/ETH or other digital currency and inevitably take off with the investors’ money.

To pull these off, they create fictitious project names, sometimes even pretending to have a few big name investors or team members etc. to gain credibility. Once they receive the money, they leave the project behind and vanish like a thief in the night.

One scam artist used the photo of Ryan Gosling for his profile picture and called himself “Kevin Belanger”, a graphic designer. The Miroskii ICO is suspected to have raised around $830,000 from unsuspecting investors. No one knows what happened to the funds after the project closed, however their website is still running. There is little that local law enforcement can do in most of these cases as some of them may be in different geographic locations and the anonymity of a bitcoin wallet makes it hard to link it to a real person.

There have been so many ICO scams that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is trying to find a way to tackle this problem, but has not been successful so far. Without a regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency world, it will be hard for the federal agencies to find and prosecute such criminals. Some states like Texas have taken an active role in identifying and banning fraudulent ICOs. More needs to be done for such bans to have a real effect within the ICO community.

Crypto Robberies

cryptocurrency-robberies-robbery

The crypto sphere is infamous for their exchange hacks and ICO scams, however criminals have found more ingenious ways to steal money from people. In Dubai, a group of criminals impersonated trade officials issuing licenses and duped 2 brothers out of $1.9 million in cash as well as assaulted them. Fortunately, the group was apprehended quickly and were later prosecuted.

Kidnapping has also become common place in the crypto world.

The Louis Meza Kidnapping

Louis Meza, a New Jersey local tried to kidnap a business associate by inviting him for a fake ‘Uber’ ride. Meza, along with another criminal partner, forced the victim to hand over his apartment keys and the 24-word passphrase to his Ledger Nano S wallet at gunpoint. Meza took all valuables from the victim’s apartment. It was almost a successful plan except for two small problems. 

Meza was seen entering the victim’s apartment, thanks to the surveillance camera in the building. Secondly, Meza used a cryptocurrency exchange to change the ETH in the wallet to BTC. Meza’s mistake was that the exchange account was in his name and that gave the DA enough evidence to prosecute Meza for kidnapping, robbery and other crimes. 

Money Laundering Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has made it very easy for drug dealers and money launderers to move money across borders without getting caught by the banking system. Law enforcement agencies have already sniffed out several rather large money laundering cases. They’ve made several arrests as well as convictions on many cases. 

One of the most famous cases was of Thomas Mario Costanzo who was convicted for laundering $164,000 on behalf of undercover agents who posed as drug dealers. Costanzo was apprehended by a DHS-ICE led joint task force. Costanzo was also charged for providing an exchange service without a KYC process (know your customer). The service was primarily used by others for buying drugs from dark web marketplaces similar to Silk Road.

Costanzo’s conviction carries a five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 penalty for five other counts. This was an easy case since it occurred within the US jurisdiction.

Drug Cartels

In other scenarios, help has been sought from international law enforcement agencies. In one case, agencies from Finland, Spain, the United States, and Europol were involved where a total of 137 people were investigated and 11 were arrested in laundering money for a drug cartel. The drug dealers used credit cards to launder money from Spain to Colombia. 

After a while, they decided to switch to cryptocurrency since bank accounts can be easily traced, even if it was located in different countries. Europol’s crime unit was able to trace the transaction by keeping an eye on the crypto to peso conversion and successfully tracked the laundered money. Europol will be training more officers in detecting crimes related to cryptocurrency and will continue to monitor such activities across Europe.

Future Crypto Crimes

There is no doubt that cryptocurrency related crimes are bound to rise as they become more accessible to common people. Although there are several advantages to using these digital coins, (transactions can stay private, no central control, no geographic boundaries , etc), they also bring with them a few unique challenges for law and financial enforcement professionals.  

The anonymity as well as a lack of geographic restriction on crypto transactions has made it harder to apply traditional policing techniques to detect, stop and punish offenders. Law enforcement will need a lot more training and tools to stay on top of the new technologies.

There is also a need for consumer education in order to ensure new investors are educated with such scams and the crypto economy. This will ensure they don’t fall victim to typical scams like fraud, ICO investments, free hardware wallets that steal coins, high exchange rates, etc.

Much like the real world, if something sounds too good to be true, it generally is.

Leave a Comment

Latest Crypto News

How the SEC Actions Correlate With BTC & Market Prices

How the SEC Actions Correlate With BTC & Market Prices

Earlier this week, the cryptocurrency markets slumped: Bitcoin (BTC) lost its $6,500 support, and Ethereum (ETC) dropped well below the $400 mark (rates stand at $6,620 and $319 respectively by the press time). While it’s important

Tether Issues $50 Million Worth of Tokens

Tether Issues $50 Million Worth of Tokens

Tether (USDT) has issued new tokens worth $50 million on August 11, according to block explorer OmniExplorer. In late March, Tether had released 300 mln USDT tokens priced at $1 per token. Over the past 30 days, Tether’s market

bitcoin long live the king

Bitcoin: Long Live The King

If you’re wondering how you should treat Bitcoin, as an investment vehicle, allow me to share with you guys my non-expert opinion. End of story, thanks a lot for reading. FREE CRYPTO COIN JUNKY HANDBOOK

Something’s Brewing at Facebook’s Crypto Division

Something’s Brewing at Facebook’s Crypto Division

It’s not entirely clear what exactly is going on in Facebook’s nascent cryptocurrency division, but several reports suggest that something is afoot. Facebook Meets with Cryptocurrency Project Stellar The first comes from Business Insider, who reports

Everipedia Launches First P2P Blockchain Encyclopedia

Everipedia Launches First P2P Blockchain Encyclopedia

Cayman Islands-based blockchain startup Everipedia formally launched its peer-to-peer (P2P) encyclopedia August 9, a press release confirmed. Designed to be an “autonomous encyclopedia without the need for advertisements or donations,” the project uses the EOS network to function and will reward

Dish Satellite Provider Adds Bitcoin Cash as Payment Option

Dish Satellite Provider Adds Bitcoin Cash as Payment Option

U.S. satellite service provider DISH has announced it has added Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as a payment option and migrated to the BitPay payments provider, according to an official press release August 9. The DISH Network Corporation was among the first

Binance Releases Demo of Decentralized Exchange

Binance Releases Demo of Decentralized Exchange

The CEO of cryptocurrency trading platform Binance Changpeng Zhao announced a demo of the platform’s decentralized exchange in a tweet today, Aug. 9. In a six-minute video attached to the tweet, Zhao presented a “casual, early, pre-offer”  demo of

Intuit Financial Software Patents Bitcoin Payments via SMS

Intuit Financial Software Patents Bitcoin Payments via SMS

U.S. software company Intuit has been awarded a patent for processing Bitcoin (BTC) payments via text message (SMS), according to a filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) August 7. The patent, which outlines a system

SEC To Decide on 9 Bitcoin ETFs in the Next 2 Months

SEC To Decide on 9 Bitcoin ETFs in the Next 2 Months

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to make final decisions on nine proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the next two months. As first reported Tuesday the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed

Microsoft Introduces Ethereum Proof-of-Authority Algorithm to Azure

Microsoft Introduces Ethereum Proof-of-Authority Algorithm to Azure

Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure has introduced a proof-of-authority (PoA) algorithm on its Ethereum (ETH) blockchain product, according to a blog post Aug. 7. The new Ethereum network algorithm will reportedly allow a “more efficient” way of building decentralized applications (DApps) for private or consortium

US SEC Postpones Decision Regarding Bitcoin ETF

US SEC Postpones Decision Regarding Bitcoin ETF

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has postponed its decision on the listing and trading of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) until September 30, according to an official document released by the SEC August 7. ETFs are securities that track

Sign Up Below!
Airdroppin the Latest Crypto News, Trading Strategies, Tools, & Reviews



1
Bitcoin
Bitcoin
$6,074.08
-6.32%
2
Ethereum
Ethereum
$266.99
-17.18%
3
XRP
XRP
$0.2655
-13.94%
4
Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin Cash
$496.14
-15.62%
7
Litecoin
Litecoin
$52.205
-13.23%
8
Cardano
Cardano
$0.093506
-18.55%
5
Stellar
Stellar
$0.2165
-9.64%
15
NEO
NEO
$15.077
-20.45%
6
EOS
EOS
$4.389
-14.98%
12
IOTA
IOTA
$0.4210
-23.21%

Crypto Guides & Tutorials

 Crypto Reviews

Subscribe to Our Social Media Daily Crypto Memes
Follow, Like, and Share Our Memes With The World


Pin It on Pinterest

Plus Free Crypto Trading Guides, Tutorials, Latest Crypto News,
and Altcoin Reviews. (Coming Soon: Pro Trading Signals)
SIGNUP FOR YOUR FREE
CRYPTO COIN JUNKY
HANDBOOK
DOWNLOAD NOW
We hate spam as much as you do. Unsubscribe anytime.
Plus Free Crypto Trading Guides, Tutorials,
Latest Crypto News, and Altcoin Reviews
(Coming Soon: Pro Trading Signals)
DOWNLOAD NOW
We hate spam as much as you do. Unsubscribe anytime.
SIGNUP FOR YOUR FREE
CRYPTO COIN JUNKY
HANDBOOK
Plus Free Crypto Trading Guides, Tutorials, Latest Crypto News,
and Altcoin Reviews. (Coming Soon: Pro Trading Signals)
SIGNUP FOR YOUR FREE
CRYPTO COIN JUNKY
HANDBOOK
DOWNLOAD NOW
We hate spam as much as you do. Unsubscribe anytime.
Plus Free Crypto Trading Guides, Tutorials,
Latest Crypto News, and Altcoin Reviews
(Coming Soon: Pro Trading Signals)
DOWNLOAD NOW
We hate spam as much as you do. Unsubscribe anytime.
SIGNUP FOR YOUR FREE
CRYPTO COIN JUNKY
HANDBOOK