The Turkish crypto exchange Thodex – which is expected to be fraudulent and has scammed millions of dollars from investors – is being chased by prosecutors and are expected to face sentences of over 40,000 years if caught.
This is particularly worrying as crypto fraud is soaring, with an increase of 64% in 2020, as the largely unregulated space provides an irresistible lure for fraudsters looking to exploit cash-happy investors. Exchanges are hotbeds for criminal activity, with billions of pounds of crypto and thousands of user logins have been stolen from exchanges through brand abuse, rogue mobile apps, phishing scams, and brute-force attacks.
As a largely unregulated industry, crypto trading fraud is rife, so it’s good to see prosecutors baring their teeth when it comes to chasing down clear examples of fraudulent behaviour. Despite the denial of any wrongdoing from Thodex executives, the fact that the CEO has been on the run for so long doesn’t exactly scream innocence, and as yet, there\’s been no evidence of paying back the scammed investors.
Of course, investing in crypto has inherent risks, but this is yet another example of would-be investors being taken advantage of. People are pouring hard-earned money into crypto, and we’re seeing investment boom year on year. Because of the lack of regulation around cryptocurrency, cybercriminals have seen an opportunity and are really targeting it as a revenue source. Unfortunately, the relative ease of laundering cryptocurrency means that victims of crypto fraud are unlikely to ever see their money returned. So, consumers looking to take the leap into crypto investment have to be wary of scams and ensure that the platforms and exchanges they’re looking to trade on are legitimate and secure before any money changes hands – otherwise there’s a chance they’ll get their fingers burnt.