Chinese police have seized over $15 million in cryptocurrencies and supercars worth around $2 million in a bust related to the selling of counterfeit Huobi exchange tokens.
According to a Thursday’s local report, the Chinese law enforcement nabbed 10 people in connection with the fraudulent scheme. The information was made public by China’s Ministry of Public Security, the governmental body overseeing the country’s police department.
The perpetrators were approaching cryptocurrency investors on Telegram groups and asking for ETH in exchange for Huobi tokens, of course, they are asking for a discounted price. This prompted many investors to fall into the trap as they can quickly make some profits selling the tokens in the open market.
“Simply put, you send one unit of ETH to a designated address, you will receive 60 HT. And then you can sell it to gain the difference,” explained Li, one of the victims of the scheme who first reported the case to the Chinese police.
He sent 10 ETH to the perpetrators’ address and received 600 HT in return, but could not deposit or sell the fake tokens anywhere.
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The police also revealed that this is the first such case of counterfeit cryptocurrency in China. They also detailed that the suspects have created dozens of Telegram groups and over 10,000 fake accounts to push these counterfeit crypto tokens.
The three masterminds of the scam also had seven employees working for them.
Among the confiscated digital currencies include Bitcoin, Ether, and Tether. The seized items also include a Ferrari and a McLaren car, along with a luxury villa owned by the suspects together.
It is, however, not clear how the Chinese police got the tracks of the scammers, whether they used any on-chain analysis or something else.
Crypto scams have surged significantly in recent months and fraudsters are using various techniques to siphon crypto from the potential victims. Crypto exchange BitBay recently alerted its customers about approaching scammers on the telephone with crypto giveaway offers.