Úno 16

Optioment Bitcoin Scam Triggers Europe-Wide Manhunt

· February 16, 2018 · 10:30 am

After possibly thousands of investors got burned by arbitrage-trading company Optioment last year, Austrian authorities have asked Interpol to help track down the fraudsters responsible for the Bitcoin scam.


Another Bitcoin Scam Burns Buyers

European authorities are on the hunt for criminals involved in defrauding thousands of individuals and losing over $100 million worth of investors’ Bitcoin.

According to reports, Optioment ran a now-defunct website while holding large-scale events in Austria — in which the company advertised itself as a “private Costa Rica-based Bitcoin fund” promising unrealistic returns. Law firm Lansky, Ganzger & Partner claims Optioment promised weekly interest payments upwards of 4 percent on long-term Bitcoin deposits, with the added incentivization of inviting new users.

Optioment apparently paid out returns on a timely basis at the beginning of its operation, which boosted investor confidence and encouraged users to reinvest in the scheme. Sometime around the massive bull run in November and December of last year, however, the returns stopped coming, and the fraudulent scheme collapsed.

Spokeswoman Christina Ratz told Bloomberg that prosecutors in Vienna are consolidating “hundreds of complaints” against the fraudulent company, and Die Presse originally reported that upwards of 10,000 individuals have been victimized, resulting in roughly 12,000 lost bitcoins — currently worth an estimated $118.5 million at the time of this writing.

Interpol

According to Bloomberg, no arrests have yet been made, but Interpol has been asked to investigate individuals in Denmark, Latvia, and Germany.

Reinforcing European Rhetoric

The hunt for Optioment’s operators comes at a time when some European countries are calling for a crackdown on cryptocurrency.

French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire and interim German Finance Minister Peter Altmaier have gone on record to state that cryptocurrencies are risky for investors and threaten long-term global financial stability.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has also expressed concerns over cryptocurrency’s criminal usage, stating that she is looking “very seriously” at cryptocurrencies “because of the way they are used, particularly by criminals.”

EU

Additionally, European Central Bank board member Yves Mersch has recently stated that cryptocurrencies are “not money, nor will they be for the foreseeable future.”

Most recently, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) have also recently issued a press release warning consumers of the dangers associated with buying cryptocurrency.

Do you think scams like Optioment are permanently damaging the reputation of cryptocurrency in Europe and around the world? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/@Plani and Bitcoinist archives.

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Led 27

FBI Warns About Bitcoin Murder Scam

· January 27, 2018 · 7:00 am

A new extortion scheme has caught the attention of the FBI in which a Bitcoin scam is undertaken through an emailed death threat.


There are lots of ways that crooks try to extort money from their victims via the internet. Some of their tricks of the trade include sending infected emails or remote hacking. However, a new extortion attempt is proving to be downright scary and has attracted the attention of the FBI. Basically, the extortion attempt is a Bitcoin scam in which the victim is threatened with murder unless they pay up.

Scared for Your Life

One victim told her story to the media. She said that she received an email that said, “I will be short. I’ve got an order to kill you.” Her only recourse to supposedly save her life was to pay the would-be-assassin $2,800 in Bitcoin.

Needless to say, the victim was scared to hell by this murderous Bitcoin scam. She told the media:

I knew no one was tracking me. But I found myself as I was on my way to work looking around. Are any cars following me? Does anyone look suspicious?

Online Death Threats Not Uncommon

While one would think that such an incident would be rare, it’s actually more common than you think. The victim contacted the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center over the death threat.

death threat emails

About the agency’s website, FBI agent Laura Eimiller says:

We receive an average of 800 complaints a day in the United States on that site. We believe it represents about 15 percent of the scams that are actually taking place, so it is heavily underreported.

Agent Eimiller goes on to say that if you’re online, chances are that you will be victimized multiple times with various scams and threats. She adds that the current Bitcoin scam involving death threats is easy money for criminals as they rely upon volume.

FBI

She states:

If only 1 percent of people send money to them, there’s no overhead for them. That is money in the bank.

Police authorities say that even educated professionals have been lured in by the emails. The reason being that the emails containing the death threats have been carefully constructed. In short, this isn’t your old Nigerian scam email. Plus, having a death threat show up in your inbox is enough to freak any sane person out.

While the internet does allow us instant communication and access across the world, it does open us up to attacks from bad guys just using a keyboard. The best thing to do if you get such a murderous Bitcoin scam email is to not answer it. Contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and register a complaint.

Have you ever received a death threat in an email? If so, what did you do? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons, and Bitcoinist archives.

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Úno 04

Dogecoin Con-Artist Ryan Kennedy Charged With 11 Counts Rape

Source: bitcoin

Kennedy

February 4, 2016 – Ryan Francis Kennedy, The man allegedly responsible for Moolah, the defunct Dogecoin trading platform, accused of stealing over 750 BTC (approx. $285,000 US at the time of writing) from the Dogecoin community, and over a million US Dollars from Moolah customers, has been charged with 14 counts of sexual misconduct against 5 women, including 11 counts of rape.

Also Read: Bitcoin Mixing Services Were Never Meant To Be a Part of Cryptocurrency

Kennedy In Custody Pending Trial

These offenses were apparently carried out over the span of the last nine years. Kennedy has plead not guilty to all charges and is in custody awaiting trial, scheduled to begin in May. Kenny has used several aliases over this span of time, going by Ryan Gentle during his studies at City College Plymouth, and Alex Green when interacting with Dogecoin enthusiasts. This recent list of charges against the man, who has been described as a “comic book villain” by former Moolah employees lends some credence to the theory that he is a long-time criminal, and created Moolah with intent to steal from the Dogecoin community.

Kennedy has considerable experience running scams, especially those relating to cryptocurrency. While the man is credited with both the rise and fall of dogecoin vis-a-vis Moolah and Moopay, they aren’t the first bullet point on his criminal resume. He is thought to have stolen over 500 BTC ($190,000 USD) in a similar manner with another startup, Crypto.pm, Persuading members of the Bitcointalk forums and others to invest in it. While he has yet to be formally charged with any of this, there is evidence that he was the perpetrator, with several sources Identifying photos of Kennedy as Lemon, Alex Green, and Ryan Gentle.

Kennedy has been a force of destruction in the Cryptocurrency community, allegedly stealing massive amounts of money and generating controversy around his scams that harm the ecosystem’s credibility. It comes as little surprise his actions in his local community may be even worse. Given his storied history of fraud and theft, Kennedy’s monstrous actions spilling over into meatspace was only a matter of time.

 

Let us know what you think of Kennedy’s transgressions, old and new in the comments below.


Images courtesy  of Dogecoin.com

The post Dogecoin Con-Artist Ryan Kennedy Charged With 11 Counts Rape appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Dogecoin Con-Artist Ryan Kennedy Charged With 11 Counts Rape

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