Increasing Cryptocurrency Scams in Turkey

Because of the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, scams are also rising in Turkey.

Currently, Turkey is facing tough times on the economic as well as the political front. The fiat currency of Turkey, the lira has been hit by hyperinflation and dropped its value by over 45% in the first seven months of the current year. Because of all these things, the popularity of cryptocurrency increased in Turkey. Many citizens of Turkey invested in Turcoin which is also considered as the national alternative digital currency.  Turcoin was marketed as the rival of the top cryptocurrency Bitcoin. But Turcoin exposed as Ponzi scheme when the company which launched Turcoin stopped to distribute dividends, and the founder of the company fled the country with millions of dollars collected from the investors.

Earlier this year, some scammers launched a number of fake websites of some popular hotels in Antalya, and Bodrum. Scammers blackmailed the hotel owners and demanded ransom in digital currencies to shut down their fake websites.

Recently the cybercrime unit of Turkish police arrested 11 people who are suspected of hacking cryptocurrency wallets, user accounts, and emails.

14 people complained the authorities about the theft of their digital cash form cryptocurrency wallets. The theft coins transferred to other cryptocurrency wallets and then sold for fiat currency. According to the investigators, the hackers stole bitcoin worth $ 80,000 (approximately 437,000 Turkish lira).

The cybercrime branch of the Turkish police identified some suspects by tracking a phone number which they used to register on the cryptocurrency trading platforms. The hackers moved the money to numerous accounts to cover the hack. The Turkish police officials tracked the suspects who were trying to withdraw the fiat money from various banks and ATMs. Their attempt to withdraw money has been recorded in various security cameras. Till now the police have arrested 11 suspects. The police detained these hackers from different addresses in Istanbul during joint raids with the special operations department of the Turkish police, Polis Ozel Harekat.  During the raid, police seized six laptops, 18 mobile phones, 22 memory sticks, three hard disks, a tablet, two driving licenses, and a fake identity card. The investigators are also looking for more victims of cryptocurrency hacks.