The National Police of Ukraine (NPU) said on Tuesday it took down a network of call centers targeting Ukrainian and European Union citizens, who have already been duped by crypto scams.

See related article: Ukraine seizes funds from crypto wallet funding Russian forces

Fast facts

  • According to NPU’s official announcement, the cybercrime network was disguised as a cryptocurrency, securities, and commodities exchange, allegedly offering to help those victimized by crypto scams while recommending new investment packages in crypto, securities and precious metals.
  • The members of the illicit operation allegedly presented themselves as employees of state banking institutions to extort the confidential data and banking details of unsuspecting citizens.
  • Other call center members were calling crypto scam victims, impersonating representatives of a crypto brokers community to elicit commission fees for reclaiming their lost funds, only to seize communication after the payment. 
  • Over US$7.7 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen through crypto scams worldwide in 2021, an 81% yearly increase, according to Chainalysis.
  • The NPU said it seized computers, data storage systems, and equipment from the bust and uncovered draft records confirming the illegal activity.
  • The cybercriminals will be charged with fraud and use of harmful software, each facing up to 12 years in prison, according to the police.

See related article: Zelenskyy legalizes cryptocurrency in Ukraine