Police seize $13.4 million from teenage Coinbase employee impersonators

The teens used a spearing phishing scheme that relies on a more personalized approach than strategies targeting a broad group of victims.

Police coming to a school
Canadian teens targeted a US cryptocurrency investor

A seventeen-year-old scammer from Hamilton, Canada, had been arrested and charged, local news outlet The Hamilton Spectator reported yesterday. Although another underage scammer was also arrested, he was eventually released without charges.

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The Hamilton Spectator claims that local police and officials from the United States Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, seized $13.4 million in cryptocurrency in a joint investigation last month. Reportedly, the arrest of the teens, known by the pseudonyms "Gaze" and "Felon," came after they stole $4.2 million worth of cryptocurrencies, mainly Bitcoin and Ether, from a single victim, a United States resident. The real names of the juveniles are not being released in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The underage thieves developed a spear phishing scheme, a targeted form of phishing attack that uses a more sophisticated personalized approach to deceive a specific victim rather than multiple people at once.

The American victim was tricked by fraudsters posing as customer support employees of the leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

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The Hamilton Spectator quotes police commentary on the incident, "Once they stole the American man’s cryptocurrency, the teens started buying 'rare' online usernames, including @zombie on Instagram."