Law enforcement agencies have confiscated $500,000 worth of Bitcoins in the United States that belong to an elderly American who was the victim of phone scams.
The details of the case are described in a statement from North Carolina District Attorney Dena King.
In the summer of 2021, the attackers contacted the victim claiming to be representatives of the Office of the Inspector General. The victim believed his personal data was being used in a drug trafficking and money laundering scheme, so all his assets would be frozen by the authorities. One of the perpetrators stated the victim should transfer the funds to a secure government account until the government was convinced that she was not involved in illegal activities.
The scammers forced the victim to use hundreds of thousands of dollars from his pension funds to buy bitcoins on Coinbase. On August 31 last year, 12.16 BTC, which at that time was estimated at $574.7 thousand, were transferred to the attackers’ account. At the current Bitcoin exchange rate of $40.9 thousand, the approximate value of the cryptocurrency is $500,000.