Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in conducting their illegal operations by using high-tech tools and platforms that can better hide them from the radar of law enforcers.
That is why authorities are keeping up with this increasing sophistication by adopting new technologies that can help foil well-hidden illegal transactions.
Inland Revenue Service (IRS), for its part, is combining established police tactics, technology, and a little dash of cleverness in catching tax cheaters and criminals.
In an article published by Forbes, it has explored one of IRS’s operations which involved gaining the trust of a darknet drug dealer with the username “Lucifallen21.”
The IRS forces knew that it would take a long time to gain the trust of someone like a drug dealer, but they knew that it is a critical element in foiling the dealer’s operations.
The operation took almost a year, but the IRS’s efforts were all worth it. Throughout the operation, the IRS team has sold him crypto for cash, which is why the IRS was able to compile critical pieces of evidence to build a case against him.
Crypto can’t hide anyone
There is a misconception that cryptocurrencies provide total anonymity, but the truth is, it only provides pseudonymity, which means that a crypto users’ identity is merely covered on one side, which still makes them traceable.
IRS’s undercover agent, with the username “Mr. Coins” has placed an ad that offers to buy Bitcoin with cash. The ad serves as a “honey-glazed trap” to lure criminals hiding inside the darknet, and the clever idea has worked, in which the first catch was Lucifallen21.
“In June of last year, Mr. Coins put up an advertisement offering to buy bitcoin via cash by mail and above market prices. All sellers had to do was to get in touch over encrypted messaging apps Wickr or WhatsApp,” IRS said.
Image courtesy of Cointelegraph News/YouTube