courtesy of bitcoinist.com
Stablecoin Tether Used in "Pig Butchering" Scam
Federal investigators have confiscated $9 million worth of cryptocurrency from a Silicon Valley-based cyber scam group, according to the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. The intercepted funds were in the form of Tether, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. The funds were traced back to addresses linked to an entity involved in romance and confidence scams using cryptocurrencies, commonly known as "pig butchering."
Victims Tricked into Depositing Crypto by Fake Companies
Members of the cyber fraud group tricked their victims into depositing cryptocurrency by posing as trusted companies, court documents reveal. The victims later discovered that these businesses and bitcoin exchanges were fictitious online marketplaces. Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri emphasized that the criminals were stealing money from investors, resulting in substantial losses for the victims.
Significant Disruption to Cyber Fraud Network
The seizure represents a major disruption to the cyber fraud group's financial infrastructure, highlighting ongoing efforts to combat fraudulent activities in the cryptocurrency realm and protect investors from deceptive schemes. US Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey for the Northern District of California credited the seizure to a cooperative partnership between the Justice Department and the United States Secret Service.
Tether Limited Inc. Involved in Seizure
Tether Limited Inc., the company behind the stablecoin Tether, participated in the seizure of the cryptocurrencies from the cyber fraud gang. Tether is currently the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a market volume of over $44.7 billion.
Combating Investment Scams and Protecting Victims
The FBI reports that investment scams resulted in over $3.3 billion in losses in the United States last year. However, experts believe that many victims are too ashamed to disclose their losses. The US Attorney's Office and law enforcement agencies are committed to using all available resources to pursue justice for fraud and scam victims, including collaborating with international partners to seize illegal proceeds from cybercriminals.
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