South Korean police have arrest a suspected crypto scammer who allegedly preyed on “housewives and office workers.”
According to the broadcaster SBS, officers in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, arrested a 38-year-old man.
He was handed over to prosecutors on fraud-related charges.
Officers claimed the man duped his victims out of around $218,000.
He allegedly told them that they would be “guaranteed” “high profits” if they invested in his project.
The man reportedly told his alleged victims that they would receive their stakes back, along with their profits, by buying “crypto” from “overseas platforms.”
Officers said the man operated the suspected scheme from September 2019 to August 2022.
The man allegedly posed as the director of a famous stock trading company.
But he appears to have assumed a range of different identities in a bid to dupe more alleged victims.
He also pretended to be a successful crypto trader at times, and even posed as well-qualified civil servant.
Police said the man frequented investment- and crypto-themed group chats on the KakaoTalk chat app platform in a bid to find “housewives and office workers to target.”
And officers added that the man had been investigated as part of crypto fraud-related cases in the past.
But, they said, detectives had been forced to abandon their probes when he moved funds to “overseas cryptocurrency exchanges.”
Police said they man told suspected victims he would invest in tokens that he knew were about to be listed on major exchanges.
But, they said, he instead used the alleged victims’ funds to gamble in online crypto-powered casinos.
Rise in South Korean ‘Crypto Scammers?’
In March, police chiefs announced the formation of a new devoted crypto scam-fighting unit.
Crypto scams are on the rise in South Korea.
And police are also battling a sharp rise in crypto-powered drug dealing.
The country’s President last month pledged to “wage all-out war” on crypto-powered drug traders.