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Criminals in London are targeting digital currency investors on the street in a wave of “crypto muggings,” with victims reporting that thousands of pounds were stolen from their crypto wallets after their mobile phones had been forcibly taken.
City of London police provided The Guardian with several crime reports detailing how thieves have been able to take cryptocurrency by using both physical muscle and digital prowess. Here are a few examples of the incidents from those reports according to The Guardian:
- A victim ordering an Uber near Liverpool Street station had muggers forced them to hand over their phone. He ended up getting the phone back, but by then the damage had been done. While the gang eventually gave the phone back, £5,000-worth of ethereum digital currency was missing from their Coinbase account.
- A man was approached by a group of people offering to sell him cocaine and he willingly went down an alley with them to do the deal. The men said they were typing a number into his phone but in reality they went to his cryptocurrency account, and forcibly made him unlock the app with facial verification. They transferred £6,000-worth of ripple, another digital currency, out of his account.
- A third victim said he was vomiting under a bridge when a mugger forced him to unlock his phone using a fingerprint, then changed his security settings and stole £28,700, including cryptocurrency.
- In another case, a victim was using his phone in the pub and believes thieves saw him enter his account pin. His cards and phone were pickpocketed that evening, with £10,000 later stolen from his Crypto.com account.
- A student in Kent claimed last year that eight people stormed his university accommodation and forced him to transfer £68,000 of bitcoin at knifepoint.
- Later that year, the American technology entrepreneur Zaryn Dentzel told police he had been attacked at home in Madrid by masked thieves. He said they tortured him with a knife and stun gun before disappearing with millions of euros in bitcoin.
CONTINUED at the KnowBe4 Blog: