Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Crypto News

Aussies revealed as prime targets of Israel crypto scam syndicate

Aussies revealed as prime targets of Israel crypto scam syndicate

Australian residents have been identified as one the primary targets of a sophisticated network of cryptocurrency call-center scammers — which are suspected to be run by Israel-based crime bosses. 

Evidence uncovered after a full-scale raid of four Serbian call centers and 11 residences by Serbian, German, Bulgarian and Cypriot authorities found that Australians were among the top countries being targeted.

The raids saw fifteen people arrested and $1.46 million in cryptocurrencies seized, among others.

Scammers from these call centers allegedly used advertisements on social media to lure in victims and offer promising investment opportunities with lucrative returns, according to the report.

Private investigation firms told the outlet that Australians were particularly sought after by scammers because of their relative wealth and a purported history of weak investigative efforts by federal and state authorities:

“Australia’s wealth combined with a long history of state and federal authorities being unwilling or unable to investigate online investment fraud has made the country a sitting duck for the international crime syndicates behind the scams.”

Mark Solomons, Senior Investigator at IFW Global, a private intelligence firm, explained that because many Australians are “friendly” and “open-minded,” they’re more likely to pursue online relationships — particularly “if the right buttons are pressed.”

“Australia and Canada vie for the top spot. They are rich countries with a low likelihood of a disciplined investigation or detection.”

Solomons said much of the stolen cryptocurrencies are being used to fund the scammer’s lavish lifestyles:

“There are Israelis getting very, very rich by ripping off Australians and sucking superannuation and retirement savings out of the Australian economy.”

“We’re talking about various individuals who fly around in private jets, who have very significant assets, real estate, fancy cars, cash. They are traveling freely around the world, they’re buying yachts,” Solomons added.

While Europol has reported $3.1 million to have been stolen by the multinational operation, they believe the true figure “may be in the hundreds of…

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