Nigerian Police Arrest Politician Wilfred Bonse for Involvement in Patricia Technologies Financial Fraud

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has announced a significant breakthrough in a complex financial fraud investigation involving Patricia Technologies Limited. On November 23, 2023, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, detailed the arrest of politician Wilfred Bonse in connection with a security breach and financial fraud at Patricia Technologies.

According to the NPF, the case revolves around criminal conspiracy, unauthorized computer and network data modification, and the illicit diversion of over 200 million Naira (approximately $246,153). The investigation led to the arrest of Wilfred Bonse, accused of laundering 50 million Naira ($61,538) from a total of 607 million Naira ($747,076) fraudulently diverted from Patricia Technologies. This diversion was facilitated through a cryptocurrency wallet.

Further, on November 20, 2023, the NPF-National Cybercrime Center (NCCC) arrested Njoku Kingsley, Chigozie Okorie, and Jideofor Sejus in connection with a separate case of conspiracy, identity theft, and romance scam. This operation in the Wumba District, Apo Area of the Federal Capital Territory, highlighted the suspects’ involvement in swindling victims through a fake profile named Anthony James.

In another development, the NPF-NCCC successfully recovered 179,372.6 USDT in a case involving Ummukulthum Basha and Sean Andres Delacruz, a US citizen. Basha, a cryptocurrency enthusiast, suffered a loss of 20,000 USDT in a fraudulent trading scheme. Sean Andres Delacruz, initially offering assistance, was later identified as the mastermind behind the criminal act. The collaboration with KuCoin was crucial in recovering the funds and identifying Delacruz.

The NPF has emphasized the importance of public vigilance, especially regarding high-yield investment programs that often turn out to be scams. They urge the public to exercise caution and report any suspicious financial activities to their e-reporting portal 

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Fraudulent Ledger Live App in Microsoft Store Linked to $768K Cryptocurrency Theft

The cryptocurrency community faced a significant security breach when a fake Ledger Live application, titled “Ledger Live Web3,” appeared in the Microsoft App Store, leading to substantial financial losses for unsuspecting users. Notorious for mimicking the genuine interface of Ledger’s hardware wallet application, this fraudulent software managed to siphon off a sizeable sum before its removal.

Cryptocurrency investigator ZachXBT first brought attention to this scam on November 5, 2023, warning users of the counterfeit application. Analysis of the transactions to the scammer’s Bitcoin address (bc1q…y64q) revealed the theft of approximately 16.8 Bitcoins, amounting to around $588,000, through 38 transactions. Further scrutiny indicated an additional address associated with the scheme accumulating roughly $180,000 across the Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain networks.

Microsoft responded by removing the deceptive application following the uproar. However, questions about their app vetting process and accountability have risen, especially since it’s not the inaugural instance of such a scam. Reports from victims have intensified the call for stringent app store oversight and highlighted the risks associated with downloading cryptocurrency-related applications from less stringent sources.

The activity in the scammer’s wallet commenced with a transaction dated October 24, suggesting a well-orchestrated plan that escalated from November 2. The largest single transfer recorded was $81,200 on November 4. Historical data indicated that the faux “Ledger Live Web3” app was listed on Microsoft’s platform as early as October 19.

This event serves as a stark reminder of the dangers lurking in seemingly secure app stores and the importance of rigorous due diligence before downloading any financial management software.

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Blazar Token Scam: Former New Jersey Corrections Officer Charged by SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged John A. DeSalvo, a former New Jersey State Correctional Police Officer, with fraudulently raising funds through the unregistered offering of the Blazar Token, a crypto asset security he created. The token saw its downfall in May 2022.

DeSalvo initiated the Blazar Token in November 2021. By the time of its collapse in May 2022, he had amassed at least $620,000 from around 220 investors. DeSalvo had positioned the Blazar Token as a replacement for “existing state pension systems” catering to law enforcement, firefighters, and paramedics. He also falsely conveyed to investors that the token had SEC registration and was available for purchase via automatic payroll deductions, promising them “extraordinary returns.”

The SEC’s investigation revealed that DeSalvo misused a significant portion of the investor funds. He transferred a large chunk to his personal crypto asset wallets, with some of these funds being diverted for a bathroom renovation.

Interestingly, DeSalvo’s primary targets for his deceptive schemes were law enforcement officials and first responders.

In another twist, starting from late January 2021, DeSalvo had been enticing investors, predominantly through social media platforms, for an investment venture that involved stocks, options, and crypto asset securities. From this venture, he gathered $95,000 from 17 investors. In a brief period, he lost approximately $17,000 in speculative ventures and diverted the leftover $78,000. He later notified the investors that their investments had lost all value because of adverse market trends.

Gurbir S. Grewal, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, shed light on the case by stating that DeSalvo had masterminded multiple deceptive investment schemes. These schemes primarily targeted law enforcement personnel with promises of sky-high returns. Grewal emphasized the gravity of DeSalvo’s misconduct, noting how he leveraged his previous role as a corrections officer to win the confidence of his law enforcement colleagues.

DeSalvo is being sued for allegedly breaking anti-fraud and securities registration regulations in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. In light of this, the SEC seeks injunctive measures, repayment with prior interest, and civil fines. Concurrently, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey has announced criminal proceedings against DeSalvo.

This incident underscores the imperative for investor prudence and the inherent risks tied to unregistered crypto asset securities.

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Google Ads Used in $4M Crypto Phishing Scam

A recent study by ScamSniffer, a Web3 anti-scam service provider, has revealed that scammers have stolen over $4 million in cryptocurrency from unsuspecting users through phishing websites promoted on Google Ads. The fraudulent websites prompt wallet login signature requests that compromise users’ addresses, and have specifically targeted decentralized finance protocols, websites, and brands, including, Lido, Stargate, DefiLlama, Orbiter Finance, and Radiant.

The phishing websites use slight variations to official URLs, making it challenging for users to identify that they’ve clicked on malicious links. Analysis of metadata from some of the phishing websites shows that they are linked to advertisers in Ukraine and Canada, who employ several methods to bypass Google’s ad review process. This includes manipulating the Google Click ID parameter, allowing the attackers to show a normal webpage during Google’s ad review. Other malicious adverts use anti-debugging methods to redirect users with developer tools enabled to a normal website, while a direct click takes users to the malicious website. These tactics allow scammers to bypass some of Google Ads’ machine reviews.

On-chain data analysis from addresses linked to malicious websites advertised on Google from ScamSniffer’s database suggests that $4.16 million has been stolen from over 3,000 users in the past month. The anti-scam service provider followed on-chain flows of funds to various exchange and mixing services, including SimpleSwap, Tornado Cash, KuCoin, and Binance.

ScamSniffer also suggests that promoting crypto-related phishing websites is a lucrative business. The average cost per click for associated keywords is between $1 to $2, estimating a conversion rate of 40% from 7,500 users clicking on malicious adverts, scammers have spent around $15,000 on advertising which provided a return on their malevolent investments of 276%, given the $4 million stolen to date.

This news comes as Russian cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky highlights a significant increase in crypto-related phishing attacks through 2022, with over 5 million phishing attacks identified last year, up 40% year on year.

It is essential for users to be vigilant and take precautions to protect their cryptocurrency. Users should avoid clicking on suspicious links, ensure their devices have up-to-date anti-virus software, use two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible, and use a reputable wallet with secure features.


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Fake Arbitrum Airdrop Scam Circulated on Discord

The blockchain security company CetriK issued a warning on March 25 about a phishing link that was being spread via the official Discord server of Arbitrum, which is a prominent cryptocurrency platform. According to the sources, it was believed that the link was disseminated via the stolen Discord account of one of the developers working on the Arbitrum project.

In the phishing communication, an option to re-claim an extra share in Arbitrum DAO Governance was presented, with the justification that there had been problems with the first token claim campaign. On the other hand, the accompanying URL had a misspelling of Arbitrum as “Arbtirum,” which is a frequent kind of deceit employed in phishing assaults.

If an unwary victim were to click on the phishing link, they would be sent to a false website where they would be prompted to input sensitive information such as the private key to their digital wallet. Investors run the danger of having their bitcoin assets stolen by con artists as a result of this.

Investors have been cautioned to refrain from engaging with the bogus statement until Arbitrum gives more information on the matter. Since cybercriminals are continuing to capitalize on the excitement around cryptocurrencies, it is vital for investors to maintain a heightened vigilance and be wary of deceptive promises and claims that are unrealistic.

In a separate but related piece of news, it was revealed that two airdrop hunters had successfully obtained nearly $3.3 million worth of Goods, demonstrating the tremendous benefits that may come from successfully participating in airdrops. While taking part in airdrops or any other activity linked to cryptocurrencies, however, it is essential for investors to do enough research and be vigilant against the possibility of falling victim to a hoax.

In general, the event serves as a useful reminder of how important it is to exercise extreme caution and vigilance whenever one engages in activities that are associated to cryptocurrencies. Since con artists are likely to use more sophisticated strategies as the business continues to get more attention, it is crucial for investors to stay knowledgeable and attentive at all times.


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Scammers Put users at Risk as Exchange’s Twitter Account Gets Hacked hacked Twitter account appears to be promoting a fake giveaway of 500,000 USDT, putting users at risk of losing funds.


A hacker from unknown origin has taken over crypto exchange’s Twitter account, putting the exchange users of over 1 million at risk of wallet drainage to the ongoing fraudulent 500,000 USDT giveaway. 

The hacker replaced the website URL in the exchange’s Twitter account from the initial to a fake one, (, impersonating the exchange.

The fake website was seen promoting a phony giveaway of 500,000 USDT, asking users to connect their wallets (such as MetaMask) to claim the rewards. Once a user bulges and connects their wallet to the scammer’s fake website, the hacker gains access to the existing funds in their wallet and eventually drains their assets. 

PeckShield, a notable Blockchain investigator, also confirmed this hack and warned users about the fake website. 

Notably, has now recovered its Twitter account, as it appears the original website is now back on the company’s page. 

Hacking major Twitter accounts in the industry to scam fans or users is not a new thing. Last year, Blockchain.News reported that Graham Ivan Clark, the teenage hacker who took over popular Twitter accounts in 2020 and used them to scam users out of Bitcoin, was found guilty in a Florida court.

Clark hacked into verified Twitter accounts belonging to prominent figures like US President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Uber, socialite Kim Kardashian, and other personalities. He was then able to tweet out messages asking for followers to send Bitcoin.

While hacks like this could continue to surface, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recently warned that individuals should verify the validity of any investment opportunity and be on the lookout for misspelled URLs as well as domain names impersonating financial institutions, especially cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Fiji Officials Warns Residents of Cryptocurrency Scams

The Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has issued a warning to the members of the public concerning a scam that is being publicized in the country.


According to Razim Buksh, the FIU Director, the cryptocurrency scam running in the country is asking prospective investors to inject funds into Bitcoin. These schemes are advertised on Viber alongside a government agency’s logo and official.

“These advertisements are fake,” FIU director Razim Buksh said. “The fake advertisements state that individuals in Fiji can purchase bitcoin, foreign exchange, and binary trading using their mobile money wallets or bank transfers. The advertisement provides two phone numbers for further enquiries. A local number and a foreign number.”

Razim said there is no Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) that is legally approved to operate in the country, and that the only legal tender in the nation is the fiat note issued by the Fiji Reserve Bank. That attempt to conduct transactions outside of the approved brokers will be considered a violation of the Exchange Control Act. 

The FIU advised all residents to be watchful of investment offers and provided a list of things that constitutes a red flag that should be watched out for before pitching tents with any acclaimed investment service provider.

As noted by the Fiji Times report, the red flags include but are not limited to “Use of the existing marketing material of government agencies or reputable entities. These are usually fake; You are asked to deposit funds into different accounts held in the names of an individual as opposed to a business or a reputable financial institution; grammatical errors often depict the works of non-professionals.”

Scams are commonplace in the crypto world, and investors have continued to lose billions of dollars on an annualized basis to these fraudulent investment offerings. Scams are not peculiar to a particular country, and authorities are known to always issue warnings such as this one sent out by the Fiji regulator.

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British Army Recovers Twitter & YouTube Accounts following Crypto Scam Hack

The British Army became the latest culprit of crypto scams engulfing the market after hackers breached its YouTube and Twitter accounts on July 3. 

Despite regaining control, the army’s accounts were used to post non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies after being briefly hacked. The British Army tweeted:

“Apologies for the temporary interruption to our feed. We will conduct a full investigation and learn from this incident. Thanks for following us and normal service will now resume.”

Following the breach, various NFT posts were made on the British Army’s Twitter feed, which had been renamed Bapesclan. 

On the other hand, the hackers changed the army’s YouTube account to Ark Invest and shared crypto videos. 

With 177,000 subscribers on YouTube and 362,000 followers on Twitter, the hackers wanted to capitalize on the army’s large following, but their plans were thwarted, and investigations are underway.

The Ministry of Defence stated:

“The breach of the Army’s Twitter and YouTube accounts that occurred earlier today has been resolved and an investigation is underway. The Army takes information security extremely seriously and until their investigation is complete it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

In 2020, Twitter went haywire after news of a Bitcoin scam hack targeting multiple high-profile figures such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and Jeff Bezos broke out. 

It was later established that Graham Ivan Clark was the teenage hacker behind the Twitter hack after he pleaded guilty in a Florida court, Blockchain.News reported. 

Despite the percentage of crypto transaction volumes used for crime reduction, more needs to be done to stem scams in this sector, given that hacking is becoming rampant. 

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BitConnect Founder Charged with Orchestrating Global Crypto Ponzi Scheme Worth $2.4B

A U.S. grand jury indicted Satish Kumbhani, the founder of BitConnect, orchestrating a fraud scheme that siphoned approximately $2.4 billion from investors, according to the Department of Justice.  

The 36-year-old from Hemal, India, with his co-conspirators, deceived investors’ money to gain substantial profits by taking advantage of the volatility of crypto exchange markets through BitConnect’s “Lending Program.” 

Hemal convinced investors that the program was powered by a cutting-edge technology called the “BitConnect Trading Bot” and “Volatility Software.”

In reality, according to the indictment, it was a well-orchestrated textbook Ponzi scheme where earlier BitConnect investors were paid using money from later investors.

Before going underground in 2018, the cryptocurrency scam had hit a peak market capitalization of $3.4 billion, and this was attained through the manipulation of its digital currency called BitConnect Coin (BCC).

Despite being large, Kumbhani was charged with various counts, such as operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and international money laundering. If convicted, he could be incarcerated for a maximum of 70 years. 

Eric Smith, a special agent in charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office, noted:

“Today’s indictment reiterates the FBI’s commitment to identifying and addressing bad actors defrauding investors and sullying the ability of legitimate entrepreneurs to innovate within the emergent cryptocurrency space.” 

Ryan Korner, a special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation’s office in Los Angeles, added:

“As cryptocurrency gains popularity and attracts investors worldwide, alleged fraudsters like Kumbhani are utilizing increasingly complex schemes to defraud investors, oftentimes stealing millions of dollars.”

Kumbhani’s indictment comes months after crypto worth $57 million was seized from Glenn Arcaro, a top American-based BitConnect promoter. Victims were to benefit from the liquidation of the crypto assets after a court gave the go-ahead. 

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Chinese Police Arrests Masterminds, Seizes $8.46M in Crypto Connected to Online Pyramid Scheme

Chinese police officers, specifically those operating from the Pingchuan Branch of the Public Security Bureau of Baiyin City, Gansu Province have cracked a case involving a pyramid scheme that was built around the XRP digital currency.


As reported by the Xinhua news agency, the case features as many as 7 suspects, and investigation into the fraudulent scheme began as far back as March 2021.

Unlike the famous pyramid schemes that operate through a known website, the “Ripple UnionPay Community,” as it was called, was designed and operated through a customized mobile application. As the investigations revealed, the application was created by a software company that is based out of town. 

The masterminds of the scheme were identified as Wang and Zhang, and the promise of the pyramid scheme was that the Ripple UnionPay Community app was capable of utilizing “node dividends, community promotion awards, community operation awards, performance awards, etc. to obtain high returns.” 

In order to participate in this scheme so as to benefit from the rewards promised, interested investors will have to download the mobile app and subscribe using Ripple Coins. Thanks to the targeted raid, the police have recovered some hardware items and have been able to confiscate a total of $8.46 million in Ripple Coins. The organization is poised to be dismantled after garnering as many as 47,000 members spread across about 30 provinces.

The pyramid scheme is just a variant of prominent crimes that are being perpetrated using digital currencies. The supposed invincibility of digital currencies is one of the reasons why fraudsters have chosen to always commit their crimes through these nascent asset classes. However, trends thus far have shown that this belief is erroneous, as most crimes featuring digital currencies have a track record of being busted by authorities. 

One of the successful products of targeted investigations into cybercrimes is the arrest of Ransomware masterminds in Ukraine as reported by Blockchain.News back in 2021.

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