Victims of £22million bitcoin theft investigation urged to come forward

Victims of £22million bitcoin theft investigation urged to come forward

Following Tuesday’s arrests as part of an ongoing investigation into the theft of more than £22million worth of cryptocurrency, the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SW RCCU) is urging potential victims to get in touch.

The team believes more than 4,000 people have had bitcoin stolen as a result of unknowingly visiting a spoofed version of www.blockchain.com, an online cryptocurrency company.

Detective Inspector Louise Boyce from the SW RCCU said: “We need to hear from anyone who thinks they may have been affected by these targeted efforts to phish users’ Blockchain.com credentials and steal their bitcoin since June 2017.

“Our investigation to-date shows that victims have made the simple – but costly – mistake of clicking on a bad web link, which instead of taking them to the legitimate Blockchain site has instead taken them to a spoof version, allowing their login details and bitcoin to be stolen.

“Our initial estimate is that more than 4,000 people have been affected in at least 12 countries. If people think they fall within this group, we need to hear from them.”

Blockchain said: “Copycat websites are unfortunately far too common in the burgeoning cryptocurrency ecosystem. We are thankful for the SW RCCU’s efforts in policing bad actors and urge those with information to assist in their investigation.”

The SW RCCU is asking potential victims of this case to contact them by email at swrccu@avonandsomerset.police.uk including details of the bitcoin wallets targeted, where possible.

General reports of cryptocurrency theft should be made to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

For advice on how to protect yourself online visit the National Cyber Security Centre https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/ and Cyber Aware https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/