A Bulgarian investor lost a large sum of money to fraudsters who convinced him that he was putting money into cryptocurrency. The scam operated through a call center in what is becoming an established scheme to extract money from victims lured by promises of quick profits in the stock and crypto markets.
Scammed Bulgarian crypto investor sends money to bank accounts around the world
A Bulgarian businessman has transferred more than one million leva (over $550,000) to scammers who suggested he may well be earning crypto assets, according to a report by Bulgarian national broadcaster, BNT. He was persuaded by a bogus consultant to send the amount to accounts in different banks, from Europe to Hong Kong.
The investor was first contacted by a call center operated by the scammers offering high returns on crypto investments. This communication lasted for some time and they managed to convince him that he would triple his money in no time. When the man expressed interest in the proposal, he was transferred to an encrypted chat and created with an online account.
“The contact details of the victim – name and phone number – were most likely obtained from a platform on which he registered,” said Commissioner Vladimir Dimitrov, head of the cybercrime unit at the General Directorate for the Fight against Organized Crime of the Ministry of the Interior.
The businessman, whose identity was not revealed by the investigators, was then offered to make a small deposit of €250 which multiplied several times in a few weeks, in virtual assets. Later, he sent tens of thousands of euros to Polish, British and Chinese banks.
The call center from which the targeted person received the initial call in this case was most likely located somewhere in the Middle East, Bulgarian officials said. However, the country from which the organizers of the fraudulent scheme operated has not yet been identified.
The scam is part of a recent criminal trend in Europe of using call centers to lure unsuspecting victims with non-existent opportunities to invest in shares of famous global companies or in cryptocurrencies.
In mid-January, Bulgarian, Serbian, Cypriot and German authorities, together with Europol and Eurojust, dismantled a network of call centers which “encourage victims to invest large sums of money in fake cryptocurrency”. In September last year, Ukrainian police busted a similar criminal organization that defrauded investors across Europe.
Do you think this trend of scammers using call centers to extort money from potential crypto investors will continue? Tell us in the comments section below.
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