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Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Call Centers Shut Down by Europol

European law enforcement agencies Eurojust and Europol worked together to shut down contact centers that allegedly offered fraudulent cryptocurrency investment possibilities.

Authorities in Europe have recently uncovered a fraudulent contact center network operating out of Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Germany. These scammers convinced their victims to invest large sums of money in cryptocurrency without doing any due diligence. Hundreds of victims in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, and Canada lost tens of millions of euros to the criminal network, according to a news release issued by Eurojust on Thursday.

14 people in Serbia and another suspect in Germany were captured after the squad searched 4 contact centers and 18 other places. An investigation into the possible online scam was launched in 2021 by the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Baden-Württemberg State Office of Criminal Investigations.

More than 250 people were questioned by police as part of the coordinated operation, and authorities seized 150 computers, various electronic equipment, data backups, three hardware wallets containing approximately $1 million in cryptocurrencies, three vehicles, two high-end residences, and €50,000 ($54,000).

The investigation suggests that the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher. This would mean that the illegal gains generated by the criminal groups, with at least four call centers in eastern Europe, may be in the hundreds of millions of euros.

Europol warned in statement

Criminals promoted their schemes on social media, where they duped victims into visiting fake cryptocurrency investment websites by promising them huge returns on their first cryptocurrency investments. According to Europol, the offenders, who predominantly targeted German citizens, would tempt their victims into making little investments before pressuring them into sending considerably greater sums.

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