According to reports, Spanish authorities have dismantled a criminal organization responsible for a large-scale cryptocurrency scam that defrauded over 3,000 individuals worldwide of more than €100 million ($110 million).
A gang member was arrested in Mallorca by the Guardia Civil.
Operation ‘Mandoa’ Proves Successful
The oldest law enforcement agency in Spain, the Guardia Civil, investigated a group of criminals who reportedly swindled thousands of people with investments in fake cryptocurrencies, ultimately stealing approximately $110 million.
The operation ‘Mandoa’ was launched after the police received a complaint from a victim in Alava.
The investigation, which spanned two regions, estimated that a fake cryptocurrency firm based in Palma de Mallorca was the recipient of the fraudulent investments. Allegedly, the company made separate transfers to countries outside the European Union.
The Guardia Civil confirmed that members of the organization enticed victims through telephone calls, newspaper ads, or SMS, offering high returns on their investments with no risk.
After formalizing a contract and receiving funds, the criminals provided clients with a website showing fake investment returns. They even hired fraudulent brokers to encourage further investments in the scheme.
Despite the victims’ requests to receive their profits, the gang instructed them to transfer more funds with excuses such as taxes or year-end financial reports.
Only one alleged member of the criminal group was arrested in Mallorca.
Cryptocurrency Scams Can Be Devastating
Numerous individuals have fallen victim to such cryptocurrency scams, losing thousands of dollars. As reported by CryptoPotato last week, for example, a Scottish woman named Jennifer was left with a $190,000 debt after investing her entire life savings into a fake advertisement on Facebook.
“I can’t actually quite believe what’s happened to me; it’s absolutely horrific. It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am, and the thought of losing this home, obviously for the sake of my children, is horrific,” she lamented.
In another example, a Hong Kong resident lost all her money ($900,000) to a criminal who contacted her on Instagram promising great returns on digital currency investments. When she attempted to withdraw her funds, she was asked to pay a fee. The woman even considered borrowing money from her daughter before realizing she had been scammed.