Venezuelan Scientific, Criminal and Criminal Investigations Corps (CICPC) detained two men allegedly involved in a $136,000 scam committed through the Bitcoin peer-to-peer platform, LocalBitcoins. According to Venezuelan authorities, the latest reports suggest that almost 36 people had their cryptos stolen by the alleged fraudsters.
In an Instagram post, Douglas Rico, CICPC’s Director, stated that the two men were Alan Renier Amora Blanco aged 30-years-old and Guillermo Alberto Bello Mendoza aged 28-years-old. The commissioner said that both men were detained in the El Paso sector from the municipality of Guaicaipuro at the Miranda state.
“The criminal duo carried out transactions with 36 people to purchase this virtual currency through the LocalBitcoins page. They were told that the payments should be from legal accounts to their accounts, stealing the money and then cutting off communication with the unwary users,” Rico commented on the scam.
The alleged fraudsters could have accounted for over 422 billion bolivares ($136,221 as of press time). Authorities did not reveal how long the scammers had been running their scheme, nor had they received similar complaints. During the operation that led to identifying the alleged fraudsters, the CICPC seized a router, two mobile phones, four crypto miner machines and a computer.
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Furthermore, on the Instagram post published by the CICPC Director, other people alleged that they had been scammed through the platform but by stealing their Petros (PTR), the state-backed cryptocurrency.
The investigation will be handled by the Third Prosecutor of the Public Ministry of Miranda state, Commissioner Rico added.
In-Person Crypto Scams With Armed Criminals Involved
Additionally, in Argentina, in-person robberies related to cryptocurrencies have been making the headlines. An unnamed man was assaulted in March by two criminals who claimed to be legit Bitcoin buyers.
They persuaded the victim to arrange a crypto-to-fiat transaction. Still, it turned out to be a dangerous scene, as both men threatened him with a firearm and proceeded to steal Argentinean pesos from the victim.