US joins South Korea in crypto phishing scam investigation

In an attempt to impose crypto regulations, the South Korean government has continued to crackdown illegal activities using crypto in the nation. They are actively working towards unveiling crypto scams to further retrieve the citizens’ stolen funds. However, Korean authorities failed to crack one of such long-standing cases of a 2017 cryptocurrency phishing scam, and utilised resources from the US to catch the culprits.

Today, prosecutors in Seoul confirmed that they have partnered with the US authorities to investigate a crypto phishing scam. South Korea’s Supreme Prosecutors Office (SPO) had tapped into intelligence provided by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) earlier in 2018 to arrest three suspects in the cyber fraud case and further ascertained the identity of one Japanese suspect among the three. Additionally, the SPO has successfully reimbursed an approximate of 140 million won, i.e., $118,000 to some of the fraud victims.

According to the accusations, these three alleged culprits are responsible for hacking IDs and passwords of South Korean and Japanese visitors of their Ripple-related phishing website. They were successful in doing so for a period of seven months, June 2017 onwards.

Furthermore, the authorities claim that these suspects have stolen over 900 million won back in the day, which amounts to 2.35 billion won in current value. Nevertheless, the FBI transferred intelligence and data to the SPO instructed the Seoul Eastern District Prosecutors Office to start an investigation and lead to the recent discovery of these suspects.

South Korea crypto regulations

The South Korean authorities are consistently strengthening their crypto law to become the leading crypto regulator globally. Earlier this month, the nation’s updated Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) policy resulted in the closure of hundreds of small and medium crypto exchanges. The exclusive law aims to prohibit withdrawals from “Korean exchanges to non-KYC’d wallets like Metamask by March 2022”, i.e., all crypto transactions originating from anonymous sources may just get banned.

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