Cybersecurity News that Matters

Cybersecurity News that Matters

Scammers exploit breached data in $520K crypto theft

Designed by Daeun Lee, The Readable

by Minkyung Shin

Jun. 04, 2024
10:12 PM GMT+9

South Korean police say they have uncovered a cryptocurrency fraud scheme where stolen victim data, acquired through the messaging app Telegram, was used to target unsuspecting individuals.

The Incheon Jungbu Police have arrested seven members of a cryptocurrency scam ring, according to Senior Inspector Choi Jae-hwang of the station’s Intelligent Crime Investigation unit. The group is accused of defrauding 69 victims of around $520,000 (710 million won) between February 14 and March 4. The scam involved a fake cryptocurrency website, Choi revealed at a press briefing.

According to police, the criminals targeted individuals who had already fallen victim to cryptocurrency or investment scams. The scammers used phone calls and texts to tempt these victims, promising to recover all their lost funds. They then directed them to a fake crypto mining website that supposedly collected cryptocurrencies and offered unrealistic daily earnings of 4 million won. However, authorities stressed that the website was designed to be a dead end, preventing victims from ever obtaining any revenue.

Police allege the crypto scam ring obtained victim information through data illegally purchased on Telegram, a messaging app. This leaked data, priced between $7 (10,000 won) and $73 (100,000 won), included names, phone numbers, and details about the past financial activities of potential victims, including trading in cryptocurrency, seeking and receiving stock recommendations, or paying for winning lottery numbers. This information, police say, made it easier for the scammers to target people particularly susceptible to investment scams.

Police investigating the cryptocurrency scam ring revealed the group vanished after March 4, shutting down their website, phone lines, and physical offices. However, Senior Inspector Choi Jae-hwang of Incheon Jungbu Police Station did announce a positive development: “Authorities seized a significant amount of methamphetamines during the investigation. Additionally, we’ve confirmed the group’s involvement in voice phishing, a separate crime we’re forwarding to prosecutors.”


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  • Minkyung Shin

    Minkyung Shin serves as a reporting intern for The Readable, where she has channeled her passion for cybersecurity news. Her journey began at Dankook University in Korea, where she pursued studies in...

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