• Europol and Eurojust joined forces with authorities from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, and Serbia to investigate online investment fraud since June 2022.
• The criminal organizations lured victims to invest over EUR 2 million in bogus crypto investment websites.
• The investigation identified a criminal network that incurred over $2.1 million in losses — primarily for German investors.
In June 2022, Europol and Eurojust, two agencies of the European Union devoted to law enforcement cooperation, joined forces with authorities from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany and Serbia to investigate online investment fraud. The investigation focused on bogus crypto investment websites, which were discovered to have been set up by a criminal network in order to dupe unsuspecting victims out of their hard-earned money.
The criminals targeted victims from Germany, Switzerland, Australia and Canada, among others, by enticing them to invest in their fraudulent crypto investment schemes. The amount of money lost as a result of their scam was estimated to be over EUR 2 million, with German investors being the hardest hit.
The task force that was assembled to investigate this case also uncovered call centers in Bulgaria, Serbia and Cyprus that were used by the criminal network to make their scam more believable. These call centers were shut down and the criminals were arrested.
The European Union has been taking a staunch stance against cross-border crypto scams. To this end, Europol and Eurojust have been actively working with various authorities to investigate and prosecute such cases. The success of the investigation in this case is a testament to the EU’s commitment to bringing an end to online investment fraud.
In order to further combat online fraud and crypto scams, the EU has recently implemented measures to enhance the security of its digital assets. This includes the creation of a dedicated cybercrime unit, the establishment of new laws to protect consumers from malicious activities, and the implementation of initiatives to raise public awareness about the dangers of crypto scams.
The EU is also taking steps to ensure that the financial sector is better equipped to detect and respond to fraudulent activities. This includes the introduction of new regulations to strengthen the oversight of banks and payment service providers, as well as the implementation of stricter rules for digital asset service providers.
All of these measures are aimed at creating a safer and more secure digital environment, where people can invest and transact in confidence. With the help of Europol and Eurojust, as well as other relevant authorities, the EU is well on its way to eliminating online investment fraud and protecting consumers from crypto scams.