Three arrests were recently made in the Netherlands in an investigation into large-scale international bitcoin fraud. The suspects are said to be part of a European criminal organization. Various exclusive luxury watches and so-called wallets containing cryptocurrencies seized. Two people have also been arrested in Belgium.
The members of the criminal organization proceed as follows. They look for their potential victims through online platforms where real estate and other real estate are for sale. They make a physical appointment in a country other than the victim’s origin. In this case, this includes Amsterdam, Maastricht, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona and Milan.
The victims negotiate with the gang members about the purchase of the property. The lure is always a generous commission of 10 to even 15 percent. If the victim bites, an exchange trick is performed in which the victim loses cash, gold or crypto coins and is saddled with counterfeit money.
At this stage of the investigation, it appears that victims lose tens of millions of euros each year in this way.
Too good to be true
Police and justice warn people about this type of scam. “Never accept an appointment abroad, do not accept an ancillary deal in cash, cryptocurrencies or the like and indicate that you only want to complete transactions through the normal channels. A proposed commission of 10 to 15 percent is too good to be true and therefore false,” a spokesperson for the Belgian police said.
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