Authorities in Italy and Albania have ceased a crypto investment scam that led to the loss of 15 million Euros ($16 million).
In a recent report by Eurojust, authorities have interrupted an online crypto fraud that led to around $16 million in losses in Albania and Italy. Through a joint investigation team, authorities were able to identify an organized crime group operating in Albania’s capital city, Tirana.
The group operated via a call center, where they contacted different people. They initially asked the victims if they want to invest in “risk-free” crypto assets. At first, they gave them immediate financial gains as a means to ensure that the profits are legitimate.
However, in the second phase of the scam, they convinced the victims to invest larger amounts (i.e. their entire savings). Then, however, they embezzled all the victims’ funds.
They opened accounts for these people, and the ones that fell for it, send their funds to the account. As soon as they sent the funds in the second phase, the fraudsters reset the accounts and stole all the money.
All the contacts were done using untraceable numbers and while using VPNs. Nonetheless, authorities were able to locate the call centers responsible.
Authorities together with Eurojust found thirteen locations that were involved. During the police bust, authorities seized 160+ electronic devices and 3 million Euros.
The investigation was ongoing for more than two years. Various authorities participated in this investigation:
In Italy: Public Prosecutor’s Office of Pisa and the Carabinieri Pisa;
In Albania: Special Prosecution Office Against Corruption and Organised Crime (SPAK) and the Albanian State Police.