- The prospect of acquiring jobs has lured candidates to foreign countries.
- These victims are being held against their will and forced to commit crimes involving cryptocurrency.
- The FBI warns states that most victims of this crypto scam are from Southeast Asia.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning to U.S. and abroad residents, announcing a new method that cybercriminals have recently adopted.
According to the warning published by the FBI on May 22, these victims have been tricked into traveling to America with the prospect of securing a good-paying job; however, these false job advertisements are connected to labor trafficking whereby the victims are captured and held against their will, then forced to commit international crypto investment fraud schemes.
The FBI warning stated that the criminals mainly targeted victims from Asia with various enticing opportunities, making accepting the job nearly impossible. The criminal masterminds post job advertisements on online employment websites and social media.
The job opportunities listed on these platforms include call center customer service, beauty salon technician, and tech support. The crime masterminds employ various tactics to ensure these job seekers fall for their scheme; the victims are offered attractive salaries, enticing benefits, and paid travel expenses.
Job seekers are tricked into leaving their countries and traveling down to the alleged job site, usually away from the location mentioned in the adverts. Upon the arrival of these unsuspecting job seekers, the criminal masterminds compel and intimidate them by seizing their passports and documents, threatening their lives, and using violence against them to commit crypto investment schemes.
“Criminal actors assign debts to these victims under the guise of travel fees and room and board and use victims’ mounting debt and fear of local law enforcement agencies to control the job seekers,” the FBI warned.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation further provided a few helpful tips which people could use to protect themselves against criminal masterminds; the law agency advised that its U.S. citizens and people abroad register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive safety and travel advisories and security for their desired destinations.
Additionally, the FBI requested that victims report cases involving fraudulent or suspicious activities.
FBI and Ukraine shut down nine crypto exchange websites
In a press release published on May 1, the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, in partnership with the Virtual Currency Response Team (VCRT), Main Investigation Department, and the Cyber Police Department, announced that they had executed a coordinated and court-authorized activity which involved nine crypto exchange services.
According to the press release, domain names provided virtual currency exchange services anonymously to their users, including cyber criminals. These domains, with the likes of 100btc.pro, trust-exchnage.org, 24xbtc.com, etc., ignored the regulations required for them to perform licensed activities.
The press release also mentioned that exchanges with a lax anti-money laundering program were indirectly operating as hubs in the cybercrime ecosystem and had violated several rules and codes.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sent a warning to its U.S. citizens and people living abroad, warning of the scamming method criminal masterminds have employed at the detriment of their victims’ financial and physical health.