Egyptian Authorities Arrest 29 in Connection to a $620K Crypto Scam
According to a Monday report, authorities in Egypt recently arrested 29 people connected to a cryptocurrency scam carried out through a fraudulent network called “HoggPool”. The scam allegedly operated between August 2022 and February 2023, stealing $620,000 from its victims.
Authorities in Egypt Arrest 29 Accused of Operating a Crypto Scam
Egypt’s law enforcement reportedly arrested 29 people—including 13 foreigners—for operating a digital assets scam for a period of about six months between August and February. The operation was conducted under the guise of “HoggPool”, a network promising significant returns from cryptocurrency mining and trading to its victims.
Allegedly, the scammers netted $620,000 before suddenly shutting the scheme down earlier this year. Furthermore, the group behind “HoggPool” was working on a new platform called “Riot” when the arrests took place—possibly in an effort to entice new victims using the name of a well-known Bitcoin miner.
The authorities also disclosed they seized 95 mobile phones, 41 foreign bank accounts, and 3,367 SIM cards from the scammers. Interestingly, Egypt is one of the few countries imposing an outright ban on digital assets, and engaging with cryptocurrencies can lead to a fine of over $320,000, according to a warning issued by the country’s central bank last September.
The ban has, however, so far failed to dissuade people from engaging with digital assets. For example, the initial move toward the ban in 2021 led to a 400% jump in cryptocurrency trading within the country, One of the possible reasons for this comes in the form of Egypt’s issues with inflation which stood above 25% in January.
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Crypto Crime, Fraud, and Scams in 2023
While users, regulators, and companies have become better at detecting, preventing, and punishing crime in the cryptocurrency industry, 2023 has already seen a number of notable digital asset-related scams, thefts, and hacks. One of the interesting examples of recent attacks comes in the form of temporary takeovers of high-profile Twitter accounts.
Since 2023 began, both the accounts of the online broker Robinhood and the NFT project Azuki have found themselves hijacked to promote different digital asset scams. More recently, the official profile of the governor of one of India’s states was also compromised and used to aggressively pitch a non-existent XRP drop in the comment sections of most cryptocurrency-related posts on the platform.
The year also saw a significant rise to prominence of a kind of digital citizen detectives with ZachXBT on Twitter, and Coffeezilla on Youtube probably being the most significant examples. Coffezilla recently tricked an MMA star into promoting a fictitious NFT project which was, in fact, an expose on scams previously advertised by the fighter.
Regulators also took several high-profile cases of crypto-related fraud to the next stage. Recently, “Avi” Eisenberg, the self-doxxing exploiter of Mango Markets found himself in prison. Furthermore, the DoJ increased the number of charges against FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried from 8 to 12 and had another of his close associates, Nishad Singh, plead guilty.
Do you think there will be fewer cryptocurrency scams in 2023 than in 2022? Let us know in the comments below.