Cryptocurrency Community Helps to Clean Up Crypto Theft Circle
On January 23, 2019, Europol released information on the arrest of a 36-year-old man they have on suspicion of fraud, perpetrated against the members of the IOTA community and others. This was a significant and extremely unfortunate event that, thanks to a collaborative effort from law enforcement and the IOTA community, is now being brought to justice.Timeline
From what we have learned and has been reported, we have pieced together the following sequence of events. On January 19, 2018, criminals began moving tokens en masse from compromised wallets. For at least six months prior, a fraudulent seed generator website had been used to collect individual user seeds. The news surfaced in the Discord #support channel, with users reporting that their wallets were emptied. The #IOTA community quickly came to the rescue and tried to safeguard funds whenever possible. It continued for several days and, in the meantime, the news spread like wildfire.
It is no secret that the event struck the IOTA Foundation, which was, at the time, in its very early days. Many new team members were getting onboarded, structures were being built, processes were in development. The Foundation started only a few months earlier, with only the founders and the core developers on board.
Over the next weeks, IOTA Foundation helped law enforcement wherever possible by delivering time and resources. In that period, the HelloIOTA forum reached out and started another forum to collect all victim data, which quickly became flooded with information. Alexa and Winston from the HelloIOTA forum contacted the Foundation, and together, a reporting format was developed.
The victims started to get a central voice, and the gathered information was handed over to the German police. The IOTA Foundation remained in close contact with the HelloIOTA members and the police to provide assistance. Meetings with police...