City of London Police arrest man over crypto currency scam

Maria Nikolova

The arrest was made after a number of reports by victims of the scheme were filed with Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting service.

The City of London Police have acted to dismantle a crypto currency scam. On August 10, 2017, Detectives from the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad arrested a man, on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.

The man is thought to be part of a group which allegedly set-up a ‘boiler room’ on Old Broad Street (EC2). The salespeople engaged in the fraudulent enterprise made phone calls to persuade people to invest in a crypto currency. The announcement by the City police says that the crypto currency in question “does not exist and is therefore worthless”.

The investigation into the fraudulent scheme started after reports were made to Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting service.

City of London Police Detective Inspector Mark Forster commented:

“These people often base themselves in the City as they believe having an address in a prestigious financial district will help to legitimise their fraud.”

The arrest happens as investment fraud continues to plague the UK. According to a recent analysis by Which? based on data from Action Fraud for 2014-16, Surrey is Britain’s investment fraud hotspot. Surrey saw the highest number of incidents of financial investment fraud, with 2.1 reports per 10,000 people, against an average of 1.3, the data shows.

According to numbers from Action Fraud, there were 264,204 fraud cases reported in 2016, that is up 10.7% on 2015 levels. However, not all fraud cases are reported to Action Fraud. A survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests there may be as many as 5.4 million fraud and computer misuse cases every year.

In May this year, the City of London Police reiterated their concerns about the growth of binary options fraud. The tactics used by binary options fraudsters have evolved, with these scammers often abusing the names of famous people and businesses to attract clients. Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, has warned that criminals are misusing his name and that of his companies to lure people into buying fake investments.

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