DOJ Seizes $112M of Cryptocurrency Funds from Scams
• The Department of Justice seized $112 million in digital assets related to cryptocurrency scams.
• Investment fraud accounted for the highest losses of any scam reported to the FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Centre, totalling a whopping $3.31 billion.
• Crypto-related frauds, including pig butchering, represented the overwhelming majority and totalled $2.57 billion.
DOJ Seizes $112 Million in Digital Assets
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it seized approximately $112 million worth of digital assets found to be related to cryptocurrency scams. Six digital asset accounts were subject to seizure warrants authorized by judges in Arizona, Idaho, and California after an investigation revealed that these accounts had been used to launder proceeds from numerous crypto confidence schemes.
Crypto Confidence Schemes
Crypto confidence schemes involve fraudsters cultivating long-term relationships with victims they contact online before convincing them to invest in fraudulent crypto trading platforms. After gaining the victims‘ trust, funds are funnelled away into wallet addresses and accounts held by criminals.
Record Losses Due To Investment Fraud
In 2022 investment fraud accounted for the highest losses of any scam reported to the FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Centre at an alarming total of $3.31 billion – with crypto-related frauds such as pig butchering representing a staggering $2.57 billion – a 183% increase from 2021 figures. Pig butchering scams involve scammers trawling through social media in order to develop relationships with their victims which eventually leads them into conversations about cryptocurrency investments which results in stolen funds being laundered away through criminal accounts and wallets addresses.
Assistant Attorney General’s Statement
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A Polite Jr commented on the DOJ’s move against fraudulent activities: „Transnational criminal organizations are combining confidence scams with technological savvy to swindle Americans out of their hard-earned funds“. He also added that now that evidence has been collected, efforts will be made towards returning stolen funds back to victims: “These particularly vicious frauds – where scammers carefully cultivate relationships with their victims over time – have devastated families and cost individuals their life savings.“
The DOJ have taken action against fraudulent cryptocurrency activities by seizing around$112 million worth of digital assets found related to crypto scams – sending out a clear message that such activity will not be tolerated and that efforts will be made towards returning stolen funds back to innocent victims who have suffered financially due such crimes