Italian Arrested on Suspicion of Using Fake Identities to Swindle Crypto Investors

Home » Italian Arrested on Suspicion of Using Fake Identities to Swindle Crypto Investors

An Italian man has been arrested on suspicion of using encrypted messaging platforms and fake identities to dupe investors.

The suspect – described as a computer expert from Genoa – allegedly claimed that he worked for a genuine crypto investment company that’s based in Switzerland. Reports suggest that he had promised victims an opportunity to invest in Bitcoin if they parted with deposits of gold and cash.

Detectives believe that he had stolen reputable identities of crypto employees in order to earn the trust of investors who were trying to perform due diligence on the opportunity.

The scam was exposed when the Swiss company being impersonated contacted the authorities, and a local police force specializing in cyber crime was tasked with launching an investigation. It reportedly took months of computer analysis and cyberstalking for detectives to track down the suspect, who was living in a luxury hotel and using a false name.

Police caught the suspect as he obtained a package filled with gold deposits sent by one of his victims. Later raids uncovered 58 Bitcoins worth beyond $230,000 at today’s rates, and 2kg of gold worth in excess of $300,000.

Italy was recently tipped into recession – and as a result, investors have been looking for new ways to invest their cash, cryptocurrencies among them. It’s possible that the alleged scam artist was preying on their vulnerabilities by offering an investment opportunity that at first glance appeared to be too good to turn down.

As TUNF reported, more of these scams are emerging – and as a result, it’s important to be vigilant whenever looking for crypto opportunities. Over in Australia, a crypto trader is being sued for more than $2.7m AUD amid claims that he misled investors and failed to make repayments. Reports suggest that the total losses incurred by Stefanos Papanastasiou’s clients could exceed $20m AUD.

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