South Korean police arrest 19 in crypto fraud bust

As an analyst with a background in financial crimes and cybersecurity, I find the recent arrest of 19 members of a fraudulent South Korean social media chat group deeply concerning. With over 300 victims scammed out of nearly $19 million, this is a clear case of pig-butchering tactics being used to lure unsuspecting investors into unlisted coins that promised quick profits.

As a crypto investor, I’ve come across disturbing news today. South Korean authorities have reportedly apprehended 19 individuals who were part of a deceitful social media community. These fraudsters allegedly conned around 308 unsuspecting investors out of approximately $19 million. It’s disheartening to learn that such activities continue to exist within our community, preying on trust and the excitement surrounding cryptocurrencies. Let’s remain vigilant and protect ourselves from potential scams.

As a financial analyst, I’ve discovered that individuals who were apprehended ran an open chat room where they swindled approximately 500 investors out of a staggering $18.8 million by assuring them of quick profits if they invested in unlisted cryptocurrencies. The chat room feigned providing authentic crypto trading advice and even distributed some profits initially to lure members into investing in those unlisted coins, ultimately instigating them towards financial losses. According to Seungwon Lee’s report.

Unlisted coins

The counterfeit coins that were never listed for sale brought no financial gains, and those apprehended ended relationships with investors once they requested their money or earnings back. When attempting to retrieve their funds, the scammers would ask for additional withdrawal fees. If an investor declined, communication was terminated.

The Daegu Police Agency’s criminal unit made arrests on May 21st. Yet, they estimate that a minimum of six more suspected criminals remain at large and are believed to be outside the country. Red notices from Interpol have been requested for their apprehension.

Pig-butchering tactics

As a researcher examining crime organizations, I’ve come across an intriguing recruitment method used by one particular gang leader. According to police reports, this individual would extend employment opportunities in Myanmar to potential recruits, persuading them to illegally immigrate to the country. Once they had entered and were in a vulnerable position, he would then compel them to join his criminal organization against their will. This tactic bears similarities to pig-butchering, where an animal is lured into a trap before being slaughtered, providing a chilling parallel to the recruits’ unwitting involvement in the criminal underworld.

The leaders took away people’s passports and cell phones, and kept them under confinement to force them into committing fraudulent acts.

As a researcher studying financial frauds, I’ve come across a type of scheme called “pig butcher scams.” In these deceitful practices, con artists first establish trusting relationships with their unsuspecting victims. Then, they lure the victims into investing substantial sums of money in supposedly profitable ventures. Once the funds have been transferred, the fraudsters vanish, leaving the investors empty-handed.

As a researcher studying online frauds, I came across a notorious scheme referred to as “pig butchering.” Nithin Kamath, the founder of Zerodha, brought this issue to light on his post on X. In simpler terms, this scam involves luring victims into believing they’re partaking in legitimate investment opportunities or jobs that promise high returns. The perpetrators first cultivate trust by creating false identities and engaging in feigned affection and friendship. Once the victims are fully invested both emotionally and financially, the scammers then execute their plan – stealing the hard-earned money from their unsuspecting targets. These deceitful practices extend beyond borders and affect a vast number of individuals.

Arrests of individuals involved in cryptocurrency crimes have been taking place around the world recently. On Monday, the US Justice Department apprehended two Chinese suspects who orchestrated a $73 million money laundering operation, employing methods akin to “pig butchering.”

Currently, the police are working diligently to recover the stolen funds. They have reached out to Interpol for help in identifying and apprehending an additional six individuals involved in the crime.

Read More

2024-05-24 17:48