Over a dozen people have been arrested in connection with a cryptocurrency scam that preyed upon wealthy senior citizens in Taiwan.
The Taipei Times reports that local Azure Crypto Co. allegedly ran an online investment scheme that defrauded over a hundred people out of $5.4 million.
Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) is charging the 14 suspects with fraud, money laundering, and organized crime violations in relation to the scheme, which was headed by a man named only as “Chen.”
Lead investigator Kuo Yu-chih said that Chen and other suspects lured in mostly male victims – many of whom were well-off retirees – using photos of attractive females.
“Chen and his staff set up websites, and allegedly used photographs of pretty women to attract mainly male victims, many of whom were in retirement with substantial savings.
The victims were drawn [in] by the attractive images and persuaded to invest through interactions they believed to be with the women, while Chen and his staff presented themselves as financial advisers specializing in cryptomining.”
Investigators got ahold of ledgers that showed the extent of the alleged fraud and the number of victims involved. One victim lost more than a million dollars over the course of two months.
Crypto-related scams have reportedly flourished with the rise in popularity of the digital asset markets. Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an alert warning consumers about crypto scams, and offered advice on how to spot them.
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