American law enforcement officers seized about $ 450,000 worth of bitcoins, which phone scammers stole from an elderly US citizen. This is stated in a statement by the District Attorney of the State of North Carolina Dena King.
In August 2021, attackers, presumably from abroad, called a resident of the city of Asheville and introduced themselves as employees of the "Office of the Chief Inspector". Threatening him with the confiscation of his savings because they could allegedly be associated with money laundering and drug trafficking, the scammers demanded that the victim transfer the savings to a “safe state account”.
Following the instructions, the elderly man purchased more than 12 bitcoins from the Coinbase exchange, with a total value of over $574,000 at that time (now about $450,000), and then sent the coins to the attackers.
The administration of the exchange, together with the FBI, identified the transaction as financial fraud. As a result of the investigation, the funds were arrested and seized. The prosecutor's office assured that they would be returned to their rightful owner.
Earlier, a resident of Massachusetts was sentenced to eight years in prison for drug trafficking for bitcoins and confiscated cryptocurrency for about $ 2.3 million.