Interpol Grabs $130 Million from Crypto Scams in 5 Months

By Michael B. Cohen

Vice President of Global Operations


Someday soon there will be an action movie based on crime fighters battling crypto scams. The action may involve more tech surprises than car chases and good guys hanging off cliffs, but it’s anything but dull. 

Interpol is earning some dramatic victories in the war against bitcoin scams and successes in crypto recovery. The famous international criminal police organization has nabbed $130 million in five months through its Operation HAECHI-III.

Many of these cybercriminals ran bitcoin scams, but the nature of the cybercrime took many forms, including sextortion, romance frauds, illegal gambling, phishing, and broker scams. The countries participating in Operation HAECHI-III include Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines. 

Cooperating with law enforcement agencies, Interpol froze thousands of accounts and made myriad arrests disabling crypto scams and other types of cybercrime that robbed consumers of millions. In addition, they were able to assist with crypto recovery for many bitcoin scam victims and those who had lost money to other types of online fraud. 

An Increase in Messaging App Crypto Scams, Romance Scams and Imposter Frauds

Interpol noted an increasingly common type of fraud that is a crypto scam hidden inside an offer to introduce consumers to new messaging apps. Once the customers uses the messaging app, they are immediately encouraged to purchase a fake bitcoin wallet or to begin making crypto trades. This is one of many examples of crypto scams that disguise themselves in other types of services. 

Romance scams and sextortion are also widespread. Romance scams start when someone thinks they have found a romantic partner online and end up sending money to them. The fraudsters often portray themselves as wealthy, complete with stock photos showing luxurious items, and come up with some excuse why their wealth is tied up –either that it is invested or they need some money to pay fees. 

Since the people who are targeted by romance scams tend to be lonely and are already infatuated with the person, they send them the money. Usually these fraudsters ask for cryptocurrency, which is harder to trace. That’s why many romance frauds fall under the category of crypto scams. 

Sextortion is another type of bitcoin scam. Because the blackmailers don’t want to be recognized they accept only bitcoin, since the blockchain is pseudo-anonymous. These criminals claim, usually falsely, that they have explicit photos of someone and demand money or else they will publicize them. 

Imposter frauds are increasingly common. People pretend to be from a company or to be a popular celebrity. They will either ask for bitcoin through a fake crypto trading scam or they’ll request codes and other sensitive information. 

What Role Can Interpol Play in Crypto Recovery? 

Interpol isn’t just concerned with catching the bad guys behind crypto scams – they are involved in initiatives to return funds to victims of cyber crime. 

At the FATF-Interpol Roundtable Engagement (FIRE) in September 2022, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) unveiled a joint initiative with Interpol for tracking down cyber criminals, apprehending them and confiscating stolen assets. This initiative will make crypto recovery much easier and is good news for crypto users. 

The initiative will not only strengthen law enforcement’s efforts in catching crypto scams but will foster cooperation among authorities globally. Since bitcoin scams usually have an international scope – both in their operations and in regard to their victims — it’s appropriate that law enforcement should have the communication and mechanisms in place to deal with crypto scams anywhere in the world. 

If You’ve Lost Money to a Bitcoin Scam, Begin the Process of Crypto Recovery!

Although there’s no absolute guarantee that you can get 100% bitcoin recovery, it’s clear from the efforts of Interpol and FATF your chances of getting your funds back from crypto scams have never looked brighter. 

MyChargeBack experts will give you the tools so you can begin the crypto recovery process. We’ll assist you through consultation and gather information we need to launch a full crypto investigation. Our professionals will produce a crypto report that will help you track down the people behind the bitcoin scams and will can help your claim reach a successful conclusion. 

MyChargeBack Will Investigate Your Crypto Case

If you have lost money on the blockchain through unregulated brokers, bitcoin wallet hacking or fake merchants, talk to the MyChargeBack team. Our crypto investigations will provide evidence to bolster your claim. 

MyChargeBack has developed working relationships with law enforcement agencies worldwide, have extensive knowledge and experience with crypto tracking and can improve your prospects of getting your funds back.