The Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde has urged Ukraine to take action against the alleged cryptocurrency fraud operation targeting vulnerable inexperienced investors in Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and UK.
Swedish national newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) exposed the so-called “fraud factory”, operating from Kyiev after investigation. Ukraine-based Milton Group allegedly defrauded investors by offering fake Bitcoin (BTC) investment schemes. The scam supposedly collected over $70 million. It was reported that several elderly people were deceived and lost their savings.
Ann Linde expressed her outrage:
It is really upsetting to see how they bluff Swedish retirees who have to leave their homes and live on a minimum subsistence level. And then they sit there, laughing.
The most important thing is that [the allegations] get attention. I don’t know if this information exists in Ukrainian, otherwise it is up to DN to make sure it does.
Facebook also took its part of the criticism for oversight on their part, which allowed Milton Group’s ads to be published.
The crypto scheme supposedly circulated and targeted people interested in cryptocurrency on Facebook. A whistleblower who was involved in the operation made the investigation possible.
The telemarketers cold-calling potential investors were supposed to make 300 calls a day. They were advised to present different identities to be able to “squeeze” more money from the clients. They posed as lawyers and financial advisors who promised to return the money to the victim after a made investment for free.
The group received $1,000 every month from certain people. An elderly citizen reportedly lost $200,000.
The whistleblower reported that different commission corresponded to different method of payment. Credit card transfer and services like Moneygram, for example, got respectively 4% and 6%. And transfers with cryptocurrency received 9% commission.