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Police Seize $15K Crypto Thief After He Mistakenly Disclosed Identity

Connecticut police caught a man who had stolen over $15,000 worth of digital currency in a mobile phone theft after he mistakenly sent an apology email to a detective heading the investigation.

Back in April, a Connecticut resident fell victim to a cryptocurrency theft by New Jersey citizen Darren Carter, wherein the latter swiped the victim’s mobile phone and allegedly transferred $15,472 worth of crypto from their Coinbase account. Carter subsequently converted the funds to U.S. dollars that he transferred to his PayPal account, New Jersey-focused news outlet reported on Sept. 2.

Carter decided to apologize to the victim via email, however he mistakenly sent the letter to a detective investigating the case. The police who arrived to arrest Carter for identity theft found him already sentenced in the Salem County jail for unrelated charges. The authorities recovered the stolen funds from PayPal and returned them to the victim.

Crypto crimes proliferate

In late August, Cointelegraph reported that Australian citizen Katherine Nguyen pleaded guilty to stealing $450,000 in XRP — over 100,000 tokens — in January 2018. Nguyen had hacked into the email account of a man with the same last name. 

Also this summer, a former employee at Microsoft was arrested for a scheme to steal $10 million in cryptocurrency. During the seven months of his scheme, $2.8 million was found to have been transferred into his bank accounts.

As blockchain security company CipherTrace recently reported, cyber criminals netted $4.3 billion from digital currency exchanges, investors and users in 2019. In the first quarter of 2019, hackers reportedly stole over $124 million from cryptocurrency exchanges, with a total of $480 million stolen from exchanges in 2019.

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