The ringleaders of a South Korean crypto fraud ring that sucked victims in with promises of Rolex watches and etheruem (ETH) giveaways have been sentenced to jail.
Money Today reported that three individuals were sentenced at a branch of the Seoul Central District Court’s Criminal Division on charges of fraud. The court heard that the trio set up a bogus crypto exchange and duped victims out of over $61,000.
The masterminds of the operation, referred to as “A,” “B,” and “C” for legal reasons, were described as being in their 30s. A, the court heard, established fake exchange with B and then hired C as a “planning manager.”
C was then commissioned to create a public group chat room by posing as an ordinary individual who was interested in crypto trading. Without revealing that they were affiliated with the bogus exchange, C then posted positive comments about the bogus exchange, trying to lure investors to its website.
C explained that the exchange issued several low-profile, high-potential coins that had a “good growth potential.”
The trio also planned a “fake” promotional “event,” promising investors that they would be entered in a prize draw where they could hope to win “Rolex watches and ETH tokens” if they purchased coins in pre-sale events.
Crypto Fraudsters’ Favorite Tool: Group Chats
At least six would-be investors were drawn in by the trio’s claims, stumping up a total of over $61,000.
The presiding judge stated, in sentencing, that the defendants “systematically deceived” their victims” before “defrauding them out of money.”
The media outlet noted that A, B, and C all filed appeals against the verdict.
Crypto-related fraud is on the rise in South Korea – and group chats appear to be their latest favorite tool.
Last week, police said they had arrested the operators of a $472,000 crypto fraud gang that used KakaoTalk’s group chat function to divert users to a scam platform. The victims were described as ranging from “crypto-curious beginners” to “housewives.”