Israel’s Police National Cyber Crime Unit reportedly conducted a massive investigation into a local company, uncovering a crypto scam where hackers stole millions using malicious software.
The company is set to have developed a malicious “sting software” that involved organized crime groups both domestic and international, to rob cryptocurrency investors “out of seven-figure sums,” local media Ynet News, which documented the entire operation, noted.
The reports said that the company is suspected to be run by the nation’s most powerful crime families. Cops of Lahav 433, better known as the “Israeli FBI” raided the enterprise’s offices, where the alleged crypto scam took place, and arrested six suspects.
The ‘Trap’ for Investors
Per Israeli authorities, the perpetrators of the sting lured European investors with a fake promise of crypto profits. They allegedly used public phone booths across the nation to target investors.
The victims of the scam received a username and password provided by the hackers to enter their personal area to view their so-called investment portfolio, not knowing that the profits exhibited were controlled by disguised fraudsters.
Further, customers did not have the option to withdraw their earnings. The majority of victims were from countries including Serbia, Ukraine, Germany, Georgia, Spain and locals.
The reports noted that those disguised perpetrators who operated on-site were young and had no previous criminal records.
The probe involved officials from the Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority, the Israeli Tax Authority and the Bavarian Cyber-Warfare Unit of the German police. Cops from Germany arrived in Israel to look into the investigation along with their Israeli counterparts.
Dudi Katz, chief superintendent who heads Lahav 433’s National Cyber Crime Unit said that the arrested suspects were produced at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate Court on Tuesday.
“We were able to stem the tide of this crime wave and bring down hundreds of call centers. This operation spanned internationally and was unique in scope, including cooperation with German police forces.”