The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claims to have intercepted millions of dollars' worth of bitcoin from foreign con artists who prey on the elderly. The fraudsters convinced the victims to send money to them for "safekeeping" by assuming to be representatives of American law enforcement authorities.
Bitcoin and other digital assets have been seized in connection with a fraud scheme that targets the elderly, according to a Friday announcement from the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut and the acting special agent in charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They detailed:
“An investigation of a fraud scheme targeting vulnerable victims has resulted in the forfeiture of approximately 151 bitcoins, as well as other digital assets.”
The FBI, U.S. Secret Service and Marshals Service are looking into the situation. The estimated worth of the purportedly seized bitcoin at the time of writing was $3.5 million.
The hoax, which took place in or around October 2020, involves foreigners posing as agents of American law enforcement.
"They targeted vulnerable victims, including first-generation U.S. citizens and elderly persons.”
They informed the victims that their identity had been stolen over the phone. The con artists demanded transfers of money for "safekeeping" after earning the confidence of the victims, promising to refund the money plus interest.
“Once the overseas individuals had access to the victims’ money, they moved the money through multiple bank accounts and converted the money to digital currency in the form of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”