An international cryptocurrency scam network, allegedly run by crime bosses in Israel, has been targeting Australian individuals, according to reports.
Recent raids by authorities in Germany, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Cyprus on call centers and residences revealed evidence that Australians were among the prime targets of the operation.
The scammers used social media ads to lure victims with the promise of high returns on investments. Private investigation firms have suggested that Australia’s wealth and lack of action against online investment fraud make it an easy target for international criminal organizations. The scammers are said to be using the stolen cryptocurrency to fund luxurious lifestyles, including private jets, yachts, real estate, and fancy cars.
The Australian government has been urged to increase its efforts to combat such scams, particularly as crypto payments accounted for $221 million of the $568.6 million lost to scams by Australians in 2022, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The commission has also been trialing a cybersecurity service to take down scam websites, which has shown early success in removing crypto scam sites.