Thieves are targeting digital currency investors in a wave of “crypto muggings,” according to UK officials. Criminals are mixing force and know-how to steal people’s bitcoin, according to the City of London Police. Robbers are drawn to cryptocurrency transfers because they are irreversible.
One victim’s account was robbed of £5,000 in Ethereum digital currency. Another man was restrained against a wall and forced to unlock his phone using face recognition. According to author David Gerard, this is a kind of crypto mugging.
More training is being provided to police officers on how to handle crypto-related crimes. The National Police Chiefs’ Council cybercrime program is also looking into ways to educate the public about the risks of investing in cryptocurrency.
Crypto muggers in London prey on digital investors by stealing their phones
The Guardian reported today that a wave of “crypto muggings” is targeting digital currency investors, with victims reporting huge sums seized after their mobile phones were confiscated.
Criminals are mixing force and know-how to steal people’s cryptocurrency, according to the City of London Police. Cryptocurrency transfers, unlike bank payments, are irreversible, they appeal to criminals.
When one victim ordered an Uber, muggers demanded his phone. The victim then realized that £5,000 ($6,170) in ethereum had gone from his Coinbase account after the group returned the phone.
In another case, a victim reported to police that his phone had been stolen following an evening at a pub and that £10,000 had been stolen from an account with the investing site Crypto.com. The victim was in a pub using his phone when robbers saw him type in his account pin.
A third victim claimed he was puking beneath a bridge when a mugger forced him to unlock his phone using his fingerprint, then changed his security settings and grabbed £28,700 in cryptocurrency.
Phil Ariss, who leads the cryptocurrency team for the National Police Chiefs’ Council cybercrime program, stated that more training on a variety of crypto-related crimes is being provided to police officers and that they are also looking into ways to educate the public on the importance of being cautious when accessing a crypto account.
“You wouldn’t stroll down the street with £50 bills in your hands and count them. This should apply to everybody who owns cryptocurrency “He stated.
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