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Woman Arrested for Stealing XRP Worth $65,000 in Australia’s Biggest Crypto Theft

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:03 PM
Habiba Tahir
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:03 PM

A 23-year-old woman has been arrested by the Sydney police for stealing $65,000 worth cryptocurrencies from a 56-year-old man.

Brisbane Times reported  that the woman hacked the victim’s email account in January 2018. She used the two-step verification feature by changing the password and verifying it with her mobile number. She then sent 100,00 XRP to her account in China from the crypto accounts connected to the email account. The XRP were converted into Bitcoins and transferred to multiple e-wallets. The victim was able to acquire his account after two days, however, the woman had drained all his funds by that time.

Arthur Katsogiannis, Cybercrime Squad commander, said, “It’s a very significant crime and it’s the first we know of its type in Australia where an individual has been arrested and charged for the technology-enabled theft of cryptocurrency.”

Katsogiannis said that even though this crime is the first of its kind, it will become a norm in the coming years. He added that such incidents will prove to be dangerous for investors interested in cryptocurrencies.

news.com.au reported that the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS) caught the woman at her parent’s house in Ebbing and seized all of her electronic devices. The woman is set to appear at Burwood Local Court on November 19.

Crypto Crimes Continue to Haunt Authorities

Last month, Oklahoma police arrested two men for allegedly stealing $14 million worth CMCT tokens from blockchain-based IT company Crowd Machine. The men got hold of the victim’s SIM card and replaced it with a fake one to use the former to access the crypto wallet.

In September 2018, Japanese crypto exchange Zaif lost 6.7 billion yen ($60 million) worth cryptocurrencies stored in hot wallets. This hack bore a resemblance to crypto exchange Coincheck’s hacking incident earlier this year. The exchange lost $530 million worth NEM stored in hot wallets, while the funds stored in cold wallets remained safe. Following the hack, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan sent business improvement orders to 6 crypto exchanges including Zaif.

Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) recently published a report which explained that 158 crypto crimes were reported in the first half of 2018 alone. The agency added that 60% of these cases occurred due to the use of similar account and password details in various online accounts. With a total of 60 billion yen (approximately $534 million) stolen this year, XRP and BTC are considered the most targeted cryptocurrencies.

Featured image from Shutterstock.