Two Canadian men accused of impersonating a cryptocurrency exchange to steal $140,000 worth of cryptocurrency from an Oregon woman could be facing up to two years in prison, local media has reported.
In a case being tried in Oregon, two Canadian men pleaded guilty to the fraud, which saw them falsely convincing their victim they were representatives of crypto exchange HitBTC to defraud 23 BTC, according to Oregon Live report. Court records released earlier this week show that Jagroop Singh Khatkar and Karanjit Singh Khatkhar had accepted the charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud over the scheme, which began on Twitter back in 2018.
The victim, a 63-year-old woman, was targeted by the scammers posing as support agents from HitBTC. They asked her to reveal the email address associated with her account, which they then used to hack into her wallet and steal the funds.
According to the charges, the pair “did unlawfully, knowingly, and intentionally transfer, possess, and use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another, knowing that the means of identification belonged to a real person.”
After learning she would likely be able to recoup the money in this case, the victim said she felt pity for the scammers: “I feel sorry for them. I have a son that’s 27. I hope they can turn their smarts into something more beneficial.”
The pair will return to court in March to learn their fate, with a two years custodial sentence thought to be the likely outcome.
The case is only the latest in recent months to hit the headlines, with BTC scams and frauds running at all-time highs as cryptocurrency usage becomes more mainstream.
Earlier this month, law enforcement officers in New Jersey busted a BTC fraud ring responsible for scamming $722 million, amongst the most significant of the successful scams to have arisen from BTC in recent weeks. With crypto scams and frauds showing no sign of abating, BTC users and investors are encouraged to be proactive in protecting their funds, or to find more secure alternatives to storing assets in BTC.
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