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Bitcoin spyware scam empties victim’s bank account

Police are investigating a case in which the victim was offered an opportunity to purchase the trending crypto currency Bitcoin, but instead lost a large sum of money.

Image: AOP

According to a report by Svenska Yle police from the Länsi-Uusimaa department are probing a case in which an individual was offered the opportunity to invest in the headline-grabbing crypto currency Bitcoin, but instead lost a significant sum of money.

In the latter half of last year, the value of the virtual currency fluctuated wildly, although the trend remained more or less upward.

Police are now investigating a case that reportedly began when the victim received a phone call purporting to come from a UK-based company.

The target was told that the company could help with the purchase of Bitcoin, a proposition that the victim found attractive.

Spyware the culprit

Shortly afterwards, the firm asked the victim for permission to install computer software that would facilitate the trade.

“It now seems that the programme that was installed was spyware. The firm used it to clean out the victim’s bank account,” explained lead investigator, Detective Inspector Jukka Paasio of the Länsi-Uusimaa police department.

However Paasio would not disclose exactly how much the victim lost.

“But we are talking about a significant sum of money,” he added.

The investigator said it would likely be difficult to recover the money that was taken.

“The act was done in a manner that did not leave a trail. Online criminals are skilled at covering their tracks.”

Better to err on the side of caution

The case may well be one of the first of its kind in Finland, investigators said. Officials in Sweden and Norway have only recently discovered the risks related to Bitcoin.

Paasio also warned members of the public to be vigilant if they are approached by unknown individuals to do business. He said it is important to be skeptical and ask oneself is what seems like a tempting offer could be true.

“It is better to be a bit suspicious than to believe everything,” he advised.

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