South Korean police have shut down an international cryptocurrency fraud ring and frozen assets worth over one billion won (approximately US$1.2 million).
The ring targeted overseas investors, believing the fraudster’s false claims of lucrative returns from investments.
According to The Chosunilbo, a South Korean news outlet, the Gangnam Police Department began investigating the ring in 2018 after receiving reports from overseas investors who had been convinced to invest in a fake cryptocurrency.
The alleged criminals reportedly obtained $1.2 million through their fraudulent scheme.
The Special Criminal Division of the Gangnam Police Department worked in cooperation with Interpol and other international law enforcement agencies to identify the ring members.
As a result, the police arrested four individuals in South Korea as well as three individuals outside the country. The police also seized 883 million Korean won (approximately US$750,000) and 14 blockchain-based accounting tokens.
The fraudsters used various methods to manipulate their victims. First, they spread false information that investing in their coins would yield large profits.
They also used social media accounts to attract victims, and then asked them to transfer money to cryptocurrency wallets that they owned. The criminals then transferred money to their own accounts.
The police warn investors to be aware of such malicious schemes, and to be cautious when investing since fraudsters often appear in the cryptocurrency market.