The Indian police have arrested 78 members of a gang for scamming 100,000 Americans. Through blackmail, almost $ 1.7 million in, among other things, bitcoins (BTC) was captured.
The gang posed as the US Social Security Unit, an American government agency. With an American accent, the suspects told more than 100,000 Americans that their citizen service numbers were used to smuggle drugs. If they did not immediately pay the required amount, the citizen service numbers of the victims would be blocked and they would be taken to court. The police unit explains:
The callers, with an American accent, said they had to pay a certain amount to solve the problem, otherwise their social security number would be blocked and legal action would be taken against them. In this way, they terrorized American citizens who paid amounts ranging from USD 50 to 5,000 through gift cards, Bitcoin and other online channels.
The gang is said to have operated from a total of three Indian call centers . However, the police believe that the gang may also be stationed in other countries. The police tracked the gang after a tip about suspicious behavior observed at these three locations. The police further explained:
A majority of the suspects were callers. They operated from three call centers with a capacity of 25 people each. The police have seized 60 computers, 70 mobile phones, servers and other gadgets. Eventually they managed to capture the citizen service numbers of 10 American citizens, their mobile numbers and other confidential data.
The total damage is estimated to be around $ 1.7 million. Bitcoin is more often used by criminals because of the anonymous nature of the cryptocurrency . However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for criminals by, among other things, cryptocurrency exchanges that implement increasingly strict Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) guidelines.
— FTC (@FTC) January 29, 2019