While no arrests have occurred in Pakistan, authorities in Westport, Connecticut successfully traced and recovered funds following a local resident’s complaint about being scammed.
In a rare success story, Westport Police have recovered $3 million worth of crypto that Pakistani scammers stole. The victim, a local resident, was convinced in January 2023 to move money from a retirement account into a “Kraken” cryptocurrency account.
After moving the funds into that account, between January 2023 and March 2023, the victim reported that more than $3 million worth of Bitcoin was withdrawn and transferred to cryptocurrency wallets they did not control.
It is worth noting that scammers were falsely claiming to represent the legitimate United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken.
In a press release (PDF), Westport Police Department revealed that their detectives worked with the Connecticut State Police Organized Crime Task Force to track the transactions and freeze all accounts associated with the scam. The investigation eventually led to people living in Pakistan, but arrests are highly unlikely.
Despite the challenges, Westport police were able to recover the stolen crypto. This is a significant accomplishment, as cryptocurrencies can be difficult to track and recover.
The Westport Police Department is urging residents to be cautious of cryptocurrency scams. Scammers often use sophisticated methods to trick people into investing in fake cryptocurrencies or sending their crypto to wallets that the scammers control.
If you are considering investing in cryptocurrencies, it is important to do your own research (DYOR) and only invest with reputable companies. You should also never send your crypto to wallets that you do not control.
Here are some tips to help you avoid cryptocurrency scams:
- Watch out: Be wary of unsolicited investment offers, especially those that come via email or social media.
- Do your own research: Do your own research before investing in any cryptocurrency. Make sure the company is legitimate and the cryptocurrency is real.
- DO NOT: Never send your crypto to wallets that you do not control.
- 2FA and Password: Enable 2FA and use a strong password and two-factor authentication for your cryptocurrency accounts.
If you believe you have been the victim of a cryptocurrency scam, report it to your local police department and the Federal Trade Commission.
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