An investigation by Belgian authorities into an organization suspected of engaging in crypto fraud has led to the arrest of three people in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands-based NL Times reports that Dutch authorities also seized luxury watches, fake money, real cash, and digital assets.
The Belgian Public Prosecution Service says that the criminal organization targeted individuals on higher-end real estate platforms. Members of the group met with these individuals in key cities, including Amsterdam, Maastricht, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, and Milan.
The suspects would allegedly ask their potential victims to exchange large denominations of money, gold or cryptocurrency for cash plus a commission of 10% to 15%. A Belgian prosecutor says that the scheme likely involves tens of millions of euros per year.
“If the victim bites, an exchange trick is performed in which the victim loses his cash, gold, or cryptocurrency and is saddled with counterfeit money.”
The suspects are now facing charges for hacking, computer fraud, theft, money laundering, and membership in a criminal organization, but the operation reportedly continues to approach potential victims.
“That is why the message is: never accept an appointment abroad, do not accept an ancillary deal in cash, crypto coins, or the like. Indicate that you want to complete transactions via the normal channels, and a predetermined commission of 10 to 15 percent is too good to be true and therefore false.”
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