FBI Retrieves Bitcoin From Foreign Scammers Posing as US Law Enforcement Agents

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Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by Bitfinsider

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 stated:

The FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Marshals Service are all looking into the case. 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. The authorities claimed that they specifically targeted “weak victims, including first-generation Americans and elderly folks”. 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 trust of the victims, promising to refund the money plus interest. The announcement said: “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.

“Law enforcement investigators traced the victims’ money through the various accounts and identified a digital wallet holding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that had been purchased with the victims’ money,” they added.

The authorities reported that the international swindlers are still at large. The release clarifies that “a civil asset forfeiture seizure warrant for the digital wallet” has been given to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, elaborating: “The U.S. Attorney’s Office used the civil asset forfeiture procedure because the digital assets constituted the proceeds of wire fraud.”

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