Cryptocurrency Scammer Makes Over One Million Dollars

The Metropolitan Police Service in the U.K. has seized $1.1 million over a two-year span from hacker Grant West. The British cybercriminal had targeted over 100 companies during his criminal span, with a fruitful cash out until his arrest. Cryptocurrency is an ever-evolving digital payment and police departments are seeing an increase in crime linked to this currency.

Getting Paid for Internet Scams

In 2017, West was charged with and pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud. He is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence and was accused by British government of:

  • Hacking into more than 12 businesses
  • Stealing payment card information
  • Selling individual’s financial data
  • Operating phishing schemes
  • Publishing “how to” guides for hacking and performing fraud

He was able to attack businesses such as Uber, Vitality, Mighty Deals Limited, T Mobile, a Finnish bitcoin exchange, and more. West’s process began with using phishing emails to trick employees into surrendering passwords and credentials that allowed him to access financial data of thousands of customers.

He was able to attack businesses such as Uber, Vitality, Mighty Deals Limited, T Mobile, a Finnish bitcoin exchange, and more. West’s process began with using phishing emails to trick employees into surrendering passwords and credentials that allowed him to access financial data of thousands of customers.

Exposing the Crypto Crime

Once he had the information, he sold it on the dark web under the alias of “Courvoisier.” His profits from selling personally identifiable information were converted into cryptocurrency. It took the police two years to find all of the cryptocurrency that West had in his possession. During a raid of his residence and storage units, police found a storage device card with 63,000 credit and debit card details, 78 million email addresses, information from over 500 businesses, and over $611,000 worth of bitcoin.

Police had to investigate and analyze to find the various accounts that West had used to control the cryptocurrency. This was the first Metropolitan Police case where officers had to seize cryptocurrency during the investigation.

Cryptocurrency Concerns

A report from CipherTrace states that $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen in 2018 alone. With the anonymity of the exchange, it is easier for people to send and receive cash virtually. This in turn makes it difficult for law enforcement to apprehend the cybercriminal when they steal the currency. This difficulty has already been publicized in the news such as the QuadrigaCX scandal, when the CEO allegedly died, leaving the cold wallets with customer cryptocurrency empty.

The longer this type of crime continues, the more versed criminals will become in the art of digital currency schemes. West was reportedly creating “how to guides” for types of cybercrime, giving even a novice hacker a fighting chance at obtaining a profit.

Education is Key

The solution for fighting cybercrime is for tech consumers to educate themselves on cybercrime in a positive way. Phishing scams are easily avoidable if consumers know what to look for and there are means to keeping digital currency and personal information safe. The hardware encrypted SecureDrive offers total security for personal information, passwords, and is the ideal cold storage for cryptocurrency.

The device can only be unlocked with a PIN or through wireless authentication using a mobile device. With brute force anti-hacking technology, the device will be wiped after 10 consecutive failed login attempts, keeping information safe from unauthorized parties. Learn more about how these devices can help your digital life by calling 1-800-875-3230.