Blockchain and cryptocurrency related crimes are something heard about in a very scarce quantity. But this week, a 37 year-old man in the US has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison for fraud in connection with a Bitcoin $BTC▲2.4% phishing scheme designed to rob victims of their cryptocurrency.
Michael Richo was allegedly running an elaborate bitcoin phishing scheme, all with the purpose of stealing confidential information from unaware victims, including various sums of cryptocurrency which they held.
Richo, of New Haven, was also ordered to forfeit $352,000 in cash, various computers and electronic devices, such as digital and hardware-based wallets, which contained a vast array of different precious metals and virtual coins that he purchased with the proceeds of his offense.
It was during the trial that evidence, such as court documents from the trial in question, as well as supplementary statements, illustrate just where Richo was going in order to target individuals for his Phishing attacks – The Dark Web.
Per court documents associated with Richo’s case, he will be subject to three years of supervised release once he’s out of prison. His operation involved targeting individuals on the dark web using marketplaces.
He did so by posting fake links to online marketplaces on dark web forums. Once users clicked on them, these links would then direct users to fake login pages that resembled the real login pages for various dark web marketplaces. Once the victim entered his credentials, the hacker would steal them. He would then monitor the individual’s Bitcoin balance at the real marketplace and would withdraw the coins once the person deposited the funds. He would then either deposit the funds directly to his bitcoin wallet, or sell them on cryptocurrency exchanges for US dollars. The US dollars obtained as a result were deposited into bank accounts under his control or provided to him through Green Dot Cards, Western Union transfers, and MoneyGram transfers.