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Spain authorities nab a criminal organization accused of conducting an extensive cryptocurrency scam that defrauded over 3,000 people around the world of over €100 million ($110 million) through non-existent cryptocurrencies. The operation, dubbed ‘Mandoa,’ involved investigating a criminal group that deceived thousands of investors through SMS, telephone calls, and newspaper ads promising high returns with no risk. Upon receiving funds, investors received access to a fake website where they could check their investments’ fake profits using false graphs. The criminals even hired fraudulent brokers to communicate with investors and encourage them to invest more in the scheme.
Operation Mandoa Turns Successful
The Guardia Civil launched the operation ‘Mandoa’ after a complaint by a person in the province of Alava who claimed to have been conned in a crypto fraud. The survey estimated that the deceptive investments were going to a firm in Palma de Mallorca, which, in turn, sent separate transfers to territories outside of the European Union. So far, only one suspect linked to the criminal group has been arrested in Mallorca.
Crypto Scams Could Cause Serious Harm
Such cryptocurrency frauds leave many people severely affected, with hard-earned money disappearing in a matter of seconds. A Scottish woman named Jennifer, who invested her life savings into a dubious project after seeing a fake advert on Facebook featuring the British journalist and advice expert Martin Lewis, has accumulated over $190,000 of debt. Another example is a Hong Kong resident who lost all her money ($900,000). She was contacted on Instagram by a criminal and persuaded to invest in digital currencies with the promise of great returns. Upon trying to withdraw her funds, she was requested to pay a certain fee, prompting her to try to borrow money from her daughter before realizing she had fallen prey.