Ukrainian investigators have uncovered a scheme targeting the country’s population and the European Union through various financial scams, including some related to cryptocurrencies. Members of the criminal organization contacted their victims through contact centres to collect personal financial information.
Ukrainian counterfeit call centres prepare foreigners with excess profits from cryptocurrency trading
Officers from the main investigative department of the Ukrainian National Police and the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) dismantled a criminal group that ran schemes designed to embezzle funds from the country’s citizens and a number of European Union countries. Its members offered investors to participate in the exchange rate trading of cryptocurrency assets, securities and commodities.
Investigators found that the fraudsters created a network of call centres and presented themselves as officials from government banking institutions in order to obtain credit card data. They used high-tech equipment and software that allowed them to change their phone numbers to appear as if they were the banks’ official numbers.
The scheme’s organizers used fake websites and exchange platforms to trade paper and digital currencies, securities, gold and oil. To attract investment funds, they promised excess profits in a short period of time, the Ukrainian National Police detailed in a press release published on Tuesday.
Furthermore, fraudsters have also had access to a database containing contact information for foreign nationals who have been targeted in similar attempts in the past. On behalf of the so-called “cryptocurrency broker community”, they offered victims to track and return their stolen cryptocurrency for a “commission”.
After accepting the services of the non-existing entity, details of these persons were sent to convert the Commission into accounts controlled by members of the criminal scheme. After receiving the funds, the “brokers” suddenly disconnected and the lost cryptocurrency was not returned.
In searches conducted by Ukrainian law enforcement authorities on call center addresses, computer equipment, mobile phones and records confirming illegal activities were seized. If he is found guilty under the provisions of the Ukrainian Criminal Code of widespread fraud by an organized group and of using, distributing or selling malware, the perpetrators may face up to 12 years’ imprisonment.