In one of the biggest crypto busts in history, almost 500 people were arrested in the Philippines. The raid, carried out late Wednesday night by the Cybercrime Unit of the Philippine Police, saw 480 Filipino workers and 8 Israelis arrested in a call center in the city of Angeles.
The online money racket tricked thousands of investors from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Russia into investing huge sums of money into an apparent Bitcoin investment scheme.
The victims were drawn in by online adverts, with some saying they have lost their houses and families as a result. The scheme was apparently entirely unlicensed and tricked potential customers into handing over bank and credit card details. One victim from Australia reports losing half a million Australian dollars.
Potential customers were initially rewarded money for their involvement to make it seem like a profitable investment, but very soon all rewards disappeared, along with the entire contents of their bank accounts.
The firm masqueraded as an established London-based brokerage firm called “International Branding Development Marketing Inc.”.
According to a Business Insider report, the call center was associated with binary option traders FMTrader and iTrader, which have offices in Israel which were raided by police back in 2016.
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