S Korean Police Probe Possible $8m Crypto Scam Targeting Investors Who’d Suffered Losses
South Korean police are probing a possible $8m crypto scam – after a group of 40 alleged victims complained they were tricked into buying a potentially worthless or non-existent crypto-asset.
According to Chosun Ilbo, the case was brought to the police’s attention by the group’s lawyers – from the Seoul-based firm For You Law. The alleged scammers, the law firm claimed, attempted to dupe victims by posing as a “loss compensation team” that caters to people who have suffered financial losses.
The group allegedly told individuals they could recoup their failed investments by buying their own unlisted crypto-asset, named Epay Coin.
They allegedly claimed that the individuals could access the coin via a private sale – and then expect “big profits” after the token was listed.
The lawyers stated the Epay Coin masterminds claimed that their token was about to be listed “on major overseas exchanges such as Binance and Huobi.” The masterminds also said the coin would be listed on “large domestic exchanges such as Upbit and Bithumb.”
However, the same media outlet quoted Binance officials as stating that they had never heard of the coin in question.
For You Law stated that although only 40 victims had thus far been identified, it suspected that “hundreds” of investors may have been tricked out of a total of $8 million. The group of 40, the lawyers said, have suffered combined losses of $1.6 million.
Where Are the ‘South Korean Crypto Scam’ Masterminds?
Chosun reporters attempted to contact the Epay Coin operators by telephoning the phone number printed on one of their business cards. But this proved unsuccessful.
The reporters also attempted to visit the Epay Coin “offices” in person. The company claimed to be using all 12 floors of a commercial building in Seoul’s affluent Yeouido District. But a building manager told the media outlet that the office was actually rented out to various different companies.
Kim Kyung-nam, a lawyer at Forma Law Firm, was quoted as explaining that “a scam company” was known to have “approached victims claiming to help with ‘recovery from damages caused by past investments.’”
Kim said the “scam company” was known to offer its victims the “opportunity to buy coins at a low price.”
The lawyer concluded that such cases were “rapidly increasing.” Kim advised the public to “collect evidence, such as telephone recordings” – in order to help prosecute the alleged fraudsters.
The case is being investigated by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Yeongdeungpo District branch.
Prosecutors and police in the nation have recently invested in sophisticated crypto-tracking tools that they think will help them shut down crypto-related crime.