A 23-year-old suspect has been arrested for allegedly hacking her victim’s email and crypto accounts before draining the latter of 100,000 Ripple tokens.
While Bitcoin enjoyed a massive bull run between December 2017 and January this year, so did other cryptocurrencies. Take Ripple as an example, which reached highs of over $3 at the beginning of 2018.
According to Australia’s News website, January is also the month that a 56-year-old man told investigators that his email account was hacked and that he had been blocked from accessing it for two days. When he finally gained access, he found that his crypto account had also been compromised and that he had lost approximately 100,000 in XRP. This, at the time, equated to well over $300,000.
Now, however, it is worth approximately $45,000. Even so, reports state that this is, potentially, the country’s biggest single cryptocurrency theft.
Suspect Arrested in Ripple Theft
Enter the Strike Force Rostrevor, a team of detectives from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad. After working on the case, the team was led to a 23-year-old woman in New South Wales. According to police, the suspect allegedly hacked into the victim’s account and transferred the XRP to an exchange in China. The Ripple was eventually converted into Bitcoin.
Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, who is the Cybercrime Squad Commander, said:
It’s the first that we know of its type in Australia where an individual has been arrested and charged for the technology enabled theft of cryptocurrency.
He went on to discuss security measures that individuals need to have in place to protect their information, stating:
An email account is more valuable than people realise — scammers are increasingly targeting emails as they link the individual to financial accounts and other personal information. There is often valuable information saved in sent items or the trash, and scammers will look for anything that will assist in taking over your identity or accessing your finances. This is the modern equivalent of digging through a household rubbish bin or stealing mail.
Keeping Your Data Secure
Katsogiannis reiterated the importance of two-factor authentication (2FA) measures as well. He added:
Just as we were taught to shred documents and lock our mailboxes, the lesson is now ensuring that email accounts containing personal information and are linked to financial accounts have a minimum of two-factor authentication. Your personal information is an extremely valuable commodity to criminals and needs be treated and secured as you would cash.
The suspect was granted bail and the case will resume on the 19th of November.
Earlier this month saw four victims in Australia get scammed out of over $35,000. Fraudsters acting as tax collectors told these victims, who were immigrants, that they would be arrested if the funds were not paid. Live Bitcoin News recently reported on a similar scam used to swindle a Canadian woman out of more than $60,000.
Have you ever been the victim of an email scam that resulted in a loss of crypto? Let us know in the comments below!
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