Security News > 2023 > June > CryptosLabs Scam Ring Targets French-Speaking Investors, Rakes in €480 Million

CryptosLabs Scam Ring Targets French-Speaking Investors, Rakes in €480 Million
2023-06-28 13:47

Cybersecurity researchers have exposed the workings of a scam ring called CryptosLabs that's estimated to have made €480 million in illegal profits by targeting users in French-speaking individuals in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg since April 2018.

The syndicate's massive fake investment schemes primarily involve impersonating 40 well-known banks, fin-techs, asset management firms, and crypto platforms, setting up a scam infrastructure spanning over 350 domains hosted on more than 80 servers, Group-IB said in a deep-dive report.

"CryptoLabs made their scam schemes more convincing through region-focused tactics, such as hiring French-speaking callers as 'managers' and creating fake landing pages, social media ads, documents, and investment platforms in the French language," Anton Ushakov, deputy head of Group-IB's high-tech crime investigation department in Amsterdam, said.

It all starts with luring targets through advertisements on social media, search engines, and forums dedicated to online investments, masquerading as an "Investment division" of the impersonated organization and presenting them with attractive investment plans in an attempt to part with their contact details.

While the initial deposits are to the tune of €200-300, the scam is engineered to incentivize victims into depositing more funds by showcasing an illusion of good investment results.

A crucial selling point of the campaign is the use of a custom scam kit that allows the threat actors to run, manage, and scale their activities at different stages, right from rogue advertisements on social media to the website templates used to pull off the heist.

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