several dozen arrests in Eastern Europe

Europol and Eurojust announced on Thursday, January 12, several dozen arrests, mainly in Bulgaria, Serbia and Cyprus, as part of a wide-ranging international operation against call center operators specializing in fake cryptocurrency investment scams.

Searches by local police took place at four call centers in Serbia and at the headquarters of several companies in Bulgaria, and 261 people were questioned – an unspecified number of whom will be charged, Europol said in a press release. Investigators also seized approximately €1 million in cryptocurrencies as well as €50,000 in cash.

Very significant damage

The targeted call centers are suspected to be at the heart of a fake investment scam that was particularly aimed at German citizens. The principle of these scams is simple: contacted by telephone, usually after clicking on an advertisement on the Internet, the victims are encouraged to invest increasingly large amounts in supposedly miraculous investments that are supposed to give very high returns. In reality, it is impossible to get your money back.

According to Interpol’s estimates, the total amount of fraud committed by these call centers can reach several hundred million euros.

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