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 the Venezuelan authorities, the latest reports suggest that almost 36 people got stolen their cryptos by the alleged fraudsters.
In an Instagram post, Douglas Rico, CICPC’s director, stated that the two men were 30-years-old Alan Renier Amora Blanco and 28-years-old Guillermo Alberto Bello Mendoza. The commissioner said that both 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 didn’t reveal how long the scammers have been running their scheme, nor have 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’d 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
In Argentina, in-person robberies related to cryptocurrencies have also 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.