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Daily fraud update: 31st January

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European authorities tackle crypto scam

A range of authorities in Europe have taken members of a criminal gang into custody over claims that they were involved in a scam worth millions of dollars.

The alleged scammers are accused of scamming over 80 victims in France and Belgium, taking nearly $6.6m in the process – a figure equivalent to around £5m.

The crime gang is believed to be located in Israel, but work from cross-border authorities such as Eurojust and Europol has led to 10 suspects being taken into custody.

It is understood that the alleged scammers told their victims that they would receive a maximum return on their investment of 35%.

At first, they created the illusion of these profits arriving by adding what appeared to be gains on to client investment accounts.

This then incentivised the victims to hand over more of their cash.

However, in one of the hallmarks of a typical scam in this sector, the so-called “profits” then dried up.

The cash was re-routed to a range of false firms which the alleged scammers had set up.

It then flowed out of the European bloc into a variety of other nations such as Turkey.

The European firms worked alongside counterparts both in specific European countries and also in other nations across the globe.

French and Belgian police were involved, as were the Israeli authorities – where a total of seven searches of locations are believed to have taken place.

A total of €1m euros were taken in Luxembourg when authorities raided the assets of the gang.

Aussie entrepreneur in public criticism of bitcoin cash

An entrepreneur from Australia has claimed that the bitcoin cash cryptocurrency as participating in “market manipulation”.

Calvin Ayre, who is a supporter of the so-called “Bitcoin Satosi Vision” (BSV) cryptocurrency, made the criticisms on Twitter.

Ayre has said in the past that he believes BSV is the only cryptocurrency which can help bring the original plans of Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s anonymous founder, to life.

Ayre and BSV have an association with Craig Wright, a man who has widely been discredited for his claims that he is in fact Nakamoto.

Wright has been involved in legal battles over the claim, with many in the crypto sphere publicly accusing him of lying.

In one tweet, posted on Thursday, Ayre publicly asked “how much market manipulation” was taking place with the Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency.

“How much market manipulation is going on with BCH. No hash, no transactions, no road map, no money for devs and no utility yet nearly 400 per token?” he wrote.

He also posted a link to an article about CryptoWatt, a crypto mining company which has courted controversy for re-starting despite allegations facing its primary proprietor.

“Is the (sp) what happened to BCH hash?” Ayre wrote on Twitter alongside the link.