Caped Crusaders of Crypto: Exchange helps UK police nab $51 million fraudster

Caped Crusaders of Crypto: Exchange helps UK police nab $51 million fraudster

Binance recently helped the UK Metropolitan Police track down a Bulgarian phishing scam artist who bilked victims out of millions of dollars.

The 5th largest crypto exchange in the world is actively helping support law enforcement combat cybercrime and fraud in the crypto industry.

On Thursday, Binance Chief Compliance Officer Samuel Lim revealed that the company helped the UK Metropolitan Police investigate a Bulgarian man intent on creating and selling phishing scripts.

The suspect created phishing scripts that mimicked 53 different services (particularly legal firms) in a bid to gain private customer information.

Believing the email was legitimate, the victims provided data that resulted in fraud totaling roughly US$51.1 million [AU$75.5 million]. In all, about 500,000 potential victims were targeted.

Ultimately, the Bulgarian suspect stood trial and plead guilty to five counts of fraud.

Afterward, Binance released this statement:

“We are thankful for the UK Metropolitan Police Service, as well as the many other agencies actively working with us, and other industry players, to continue our fight against cybercrime and sustain a healthy, legitimate market.”

How phishing works

How phishing works

Phishing is insidious as its cumulative effect is to erode trust among online consumers.

These criminals often target older adults because they’re viewed as more trusting and sending emails appears to be the most common means for instigating a phishing attack.

These emails often take the form of of a warning seeking to safeguard customer accounts which links to a legitimate-looking website that asks the victims for their account and other personal information.

Once the cybercriminals gain access to private data, they’re able to sell it on the dark web for a hefty price.

Selling customer information on the dark web can be a lucrative business, with victims records selling for anywhere from a few dollars to thousands of dollars or more, depending on the type of information being sold.

A clear motivation to stop cybercrime

Binance officials are highlighting their commitment to account security and taking various proactive measures to thwart cyber attacks.

After all, the exchange is still smarting from a major hack just four months ago in which 7000 Bitcoin were stolen (about $40 million).

Fortunately, the lost funds were covered by Binance’s Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU), an emergency insurance fund.

Since then, Binance has ramped up its efforts to be proactive when it comes to security.

“Binance has always prioritized security and we are always working to protect our customers from bad actors such as this individual,” the statement reads.

“Staying true to that, we are constantly refining and advancing the technology that we use to keep our platform secure, which helps to ensure that we continue to set and maintain industry standards.”

Binance is also educating customers on how to recognize potential security risks and phishing scams (see Binance Academy’s Phishing Quiz).

As for giving UK authorities an assist? Binance believes that such cooperation is necessary for helping to create and maintain a safe environment within the crypto space.