Another case of cryptocurrency fraud is in the books. This time, the circumstances occurred in Oregon and resulted in the arrest of Canadian brothers Jagroop Singh Khatkar and Karanjit Singh Khatkhar.
Cryptocurrency Fraud Is Growing Quickly
Both men have pled guilty to stealing as much as $140,000 in bitcoin funds from an investor who was allegedly convinced that they were part of the cryptocurrency exchange Hit BTC. Both men impersonated the trading platform and could serve as many as two years in prison.
The scam occurred via Twitter in July 2018. Court documents explain:
[The Singh Khatkhars] did unlawfully, knowingly, and intentionally transfer, process and use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another, knowing that the means of identification belonged to a real person.
The victim – who remains unnamed at the time of writing – was a 64-year-old woman. Both conspirators convinced her to reveal the email address that was attached to her crypto trading account. They were then able to gain control of the account and move her funds over to a wallet they controlled.
The woman is slated to win back her lost funds back, which prompted her to show mercy to the two brothers during their initial hearing. She explained:
I feel sorry for them. I have a son that’s 27. I hope they can turn their smarts into something more beneficial.
Both brothers will return to court in March where they will be sentenced.
Cryptocurrency fraud and similar crime appears to be at an all-time high in 2019. While $140,000 may sound like a lot of money at first glance, the situation is nothing compared to previous cases recorded this year. Up Bit, for example, is a popular trading platform based in South Korea. The company reported losing as much as $50 million in ether funds last month in what is arguably one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange hacks of the last two years.
Another cryptocurrency hack occurred last May. Binance – the world’s largest and most popular crypto trading exchange – reported losing as much as $40 million in bitcoin and cryptocurrency funds thanks to a malicious cyberattack. Executives of the company stated that while they had the money necessary to reimburse any potential customer losses, the attack still “hurt.”
When Is This Going to Stop?
Just last week, the largest cryptocurrency-related scam ever recorded took place. The scheme involved as many as five men, though at press time, only three have been arrested: two from Colorado and one from California. The other two remain at large.
As much as $722 million in investor funds may have been stolen, and the scheme itself has likely gone on since 2014. The men sought to garner funds for an allegedly fake cryptocurrency company and promised extraordinarily high returns to investors while utilizing the funds for personal expenses.