The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is announcing the seizure of crypto worth over $112 million linked to cryptocurrency investment scams.
In a new announcement, the DOJ says it is targeting six crypto accounts with seizure warrants authorized by judges in Arizona, California, and Idaho.
According to court documents, “virtual currency accounts” were allegedly used to launder the proceeds of various cryptocurrency confidence scams.
Scammers cultivated long-term relationships with victims they met online, eventually enticing them to make investments in fraudulent cryptocurrency trading platforms, the DOJ says. The funds sent by victims for the purported investments were then funneled to wallets and accounts controlled by the bad actors and their co-conspirators.
The FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3) reported that in 2022, investment fraud caused the highest losses of any scam reported by the public, totaling $3.31 billion. Crypto frauds represented the majority of these scams, increasing a staggering 183% from 2021 to $2.57 billion in reported losses last year.
The highest number of reports came from victims between the ages of 30 and 49.
Says Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the DOJ Criminal Division,
“Transnational criminal organizations are combining confidence scams with technological savvy to swindle Americans out of their hard-earned funds.”
Director Eun Young Choi of the Criminal Division’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team stated that the agency will continue to use all tools at its disposal to disrupt and deter cryptocurrency confidence schemes through blockchain analysis and targeting the infrastructure used by scammers.Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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