On Sept. 17, Jasmine Vella-Arpaci, a 21-year-old woman from Australia, made her first court appearance after being accused of shipping millions of dollars with the help of crypto. The young mother has been charged with 53 counts of fraud and theft.
A multi-million identity fraud
According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC),.the group of criminals, whose members referred to themselves as “Team Awesome,” would purchase stolen sensitive information on the dark web to open fake bank accounts in Australia. The funds were stolen from superannuation accounts and share-trading accounts of the gang’s unsuspecting victims.
The money was then transferred money to their accomplice in Hong Kong to trade expensive jewelry before sending it back home via cryptocurrencies.
Cybersecurity threats such as data breaches and financial system attacks are a major concern for ASIC and we will continue to pursue not only cyber-related market and superannuation offending but also the need for institutions to maintain their obligations to ensure they have adequate cyber resilience, says ASIC deputy chair Daniel Crennan
The investigation into the major crime syndicate continues with further arrests expected.
Crypto scams on the rise
As reported by U.Today, cryptocurrencies scams have grown by more than 200 percent in Australia in 2018 with victims losing about $6.1 mln.
In 2019, this number could be easily topped. Back in July, an elderly couple lost a whopping 900,000 to an elaborate crypto scam, thus wasting all their retirement savings.