For frauds and cybercriminals, 2019 has been a harvest year. This year $4.26 billion in total has been stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges, investors and users. Below, you will find five the most notorious cases of cryptocurrency theft in 2019.
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$114 Million Stolen in Sofia-based Scam
As a result of a massive investigation and sting operation, police in Europe have uncovered a criminal organization spanning the Czech Republic and Bulgaria that was engaged in the illegal operation of binary options and crypto trading platforms. Users of these crypto platforms were promised high returns on their investments but were almost lost $114 million in total as part of the fraud scam.
Amit Lakhanpal Arrested in Mumbai Scam Case
Amit Lakhanpal is one of four men who has been accused of stealing $71.6 million as part of an ICO scam. To attract investors, it is said that he and his partners inflated the price of his cryptocurrency and claimed that the royal family of Dubai supported his project.
$51 mln stolen in a Taiwanese Ponzi Scheme
In Taipei, seven men were accused of cheating more than 1,000 investors extorting almost $51 million from them as a result. Clients endowed their assets to them hoping to get 335% in yearly returns. Soon the returns ceased, and the investors ended up losing money.
This case will no doubt lead to the detainment of these men. Also, it has made the Taiwanese Cabinet acquaint corrections with the Money Laundering Control Act and the Terrorism Financing Prevention Act, so as to control direct crypto activities.
Hackers steal $40 Million in crypto from Binance
Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, had bitcoin worth $40 million stolen in May.
While it is uncommon to see an established exchange like Binance get hacked, the cybercriminals managed not only to steal 7,000 bitcoin but also two-factor authentication codes and API tokens.
The impact of the hack wasn’t too great on Binance, as it only affected 2% of their overall holdings.
Bitfinex hackers arrested after three years
Two brothers from Israel were arrested for an alleged phishing scam that lasted for three years.
Eli and Assaf were linked to the Bitfinex hack after $1.5 million worth of stolen Bitfinex Bitcoin moved from the hackers’ account at the start of the month.
They are alleged to have lured investors from crypto trading forums such as Reddit onto websites that mimicked prominent crypto exchanges.
The 2016 Bitfinex hack was one of the biggest cryptocurrency trading platform hacks when it happened. At the time, Bitfinex was one of the largest cryptocurrency platforms around. When the hack happened, Bitcoin price fell by 20%, affecting global cryptocurrency trades. The exchange never recovered, and from a top 10 exchange, it now hovers around the #30 and #50 rank.