People get a telephone call inviting them to invest in digital currencies, gold and diamonds. Investors who take up the offer are overjoyed when they quickly make a profit of up to 35% on their original investment. But the problems start when people, who were now enthusiastic about the opportunities, reinvest their cash. They are defrauded.
The operation has claimed up to 85 victims in Belgium and France. Their cash is soon channelled to accounts in Turkey and Asia and all the investments are lost. Prosecutors fear that well over 6 million euros may have been defrauded. They speak of “specialised” criminals.
The mastermind behind the fraud is thought to be a 45-year-old man with joint French and Israeli nationality. Israeli police arrested him last December and raided several properties. 4 people were arrested in France.
Prosecutors say internet fraud is popular and this is only one dossier. Belgium’s Financial Services Authority gets four complaints about similar frauds each and every day. Complaints are up by nearly a fifth on the year.