What is a crypto crime?
Crypto crime is an offense that involves cryptocurrencies. Basically it has something to do with stealing cryptocurrencies or/and spending them on something illegal.
As long as cryptocurrencies exist there are concerns that they can be used for illegal activities funding. So now there is the whole problem of preventing and investigating crimes related to cryptocurrencies.
There are reports on the number of unlawful activities that occur every year and include Bitcoin. But not only Bitcoin is involved. INTERPOL has statistics on crypto crimes for every coin. Here are some examples of crimes they report:
- money laundering
- investment scams
- dark web websites
- darknet markets
- ICO scams
- exit scams
- Ponzi scheme
- fake identities
Let’s take a moment and think why criminals like cryptocurrencies so much.
The reason is that the Crypto World is a place where they can interact with money anonymously. So far frauds feel pretty secure within blockchains. Actually this is why they were one of the firsts to start using cryptocurrencies.
One of the things that differ crypto crimes from the good old offline crimes is that crypto criminals are educated people. They usually have no less than masters degrees in computer science. They don’t act randomly, all the schemes are organized. This is why these cases are harder to investigate.
How to trace perpetrators?
Is it impossible to trace such criminals?
Fortunately, it is possible. The most part of the investigated crimes were traced back to the very perpetrators. Companies that are investigating cryptocurrency related affairs register activities that are coming from different accounts but belong to the same wallet. That means that they are controlled by the same organization. The next step is to find out who is behind this entity.
There is various software that may help to identify users. Crystal is one of the largest companies which develop such programs. With the help of their software, it is possible to solve some crypto crimes.
The situation which often complicates violators tracing is that some crimes are committed with stolen identities.
But such frauds do not happen only online. Cryptocurrencies get involved into offline crimes as well. For example, criminals force users to hand over their account information. Basically, it’s not considered to be an online crime, but anyway cryptocurrency is being stolen.
The interesting thing is that there are well known big organized groups that commit crypto crimes. For example, a group named “Alpha”. All of them move stolen cryptocurrencies thousand times before they cash out.
Experts say that as long as hacking is profitable it does not seem possible to decrease a number of such crimes. So far this business is only getting bigger and more sophisticated, that makes the security one of the most important questions to discuss.
It is essential to stay sharp and pay attention to suspicious offers and unreliable accounts. Never share your private keys with anyone, always check if you are on the correct website and do not use public computers for your crypto transactions. But there is no reason for panic, be vigilant and your cryptocurrencies will be safe 😉