COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Financial and Commercial Crimes Bureau of Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigations Department has arrested three people for committing massive crypto currency fraud amounting to around Rs. 14 Billion (US $ 37,891,504.00)
Police Spokesperson & Attorney SSP Nihal Thalduwa told reporters on Thursday (27) that the scam was commited by a Chinese couple together with the Sri Lankan identified as Lamahewage Shamal Keerthi Bandara.
The Chinese couple was arrested at the Katunayake International Airport, and the Police Spokesperson said that 8,000 people were scammed by these con artists.
The Police Spokesperson said that Lamahewage Shamal Keerthi Bandara has started the conning people since 2020 out of an office set up at the Colombo World Trade Center.
However, he was released on bail after he was produced in court, said the Police Spokesperson.
The Police Spokesperson said that the three criminals deceive unsuspecting individuals by promising them great returns for their crypto investments.
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that generally exists only electronically. You usually use your phone, computer, or a cryptocurrency ATM to buy cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and Ether are well-known cryptocurrencies, but there are many different cryptocurrencies, and new ones keep being created.
How do people use cryptocurrency?
People use cryptocurrency for many reasons — quick payments, to avoid transaction fees that traditional banks charge, or because it offers some anonymity. Others hold cryptocurrency as an investment, hoping the value goes up.
How do you get cryptocurrency?
You can buy cryptocurrency through an exchange, an app, a website, or a cryptocurrency ATM. Some people earn cryptocurrency through a complex process called “mining,” which requires advanced computer equipment to solve highly complicated math puzzles.
Where and how do you store cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is stored in a digital wallet, which can be online, on your computer, or on an external hard drive. A digital wallet has a wallet address, which is usually a long string of numbers and letters. If something happens to your wallet or your cryptocurrency funds — like your online exchange platform goes out of business, you send cryptocurrency to the wrong person, you lose the password to your digital wallet, or your digital wallet is stolen or compromised — you’re likely to find that no one can step in to help you recover your funds.
How is cryptocurrency different from U.S. Dollars?
Because cryptocurrency exists only online, there are important differences between cryptocurrency and traditional currency, like U.S. dollars.
Cryptocurrency accounts are not backed by a government. Cryptocurrency held in accounts is not insured by a government like U.S. dollars deposited into an FDIC insured bank account. If something happens to your account or cryptocurrency funds — for example, the company that provides storage for your wallet goes out of business or is hacked — the government has no obligation to step in and help get your money back.
Cryptocurrency values change constantly. The value of a cryptocurrency can change rapidly, even changing by the hour. And the amount of the change can be significant. It depends on many factors, including supply and demand. Cryptocurrencies tend to be more volatile than more traditional investments, such as stocks and bonds. An investment that’s worth thousands of dollars today might be worth only hundreds tomorrow. And, if the value goes down, there’s no guarantee it will go up again.
Paying With Cryptocurrency?
There are many ways that paying with cryptocurrency is different from paying with a credit card or other traditional payment methods.
Cryptocurrency payments do not come with legal protections. Credit cards and debit cards have legal protections if something goes wrong. For example, if you need to dispute a purchase, your credit card company has a process to help you get your money back. Cryptocurrencies typically do not come with any such protections.
Cryptocurrency payments typically are not reversible. Once you pay with cryptocurrency, you can usually only get your money back if the person you paid sends it back. Before you buy something with cryptocurrency, know the seller’s reputation, by doing some research before you pay.
Some information about your transactions will likely be public. People talk about cryptocurrency transactions as anonymous. But the truth is not that simple. Cryptocurrency transactions will typically be recorded on a public ledger, called a “blockchain.”
That’s a public list of every cryptocurrency transaction — both on the payment and receipt sides. Depending on the blockchain, the information added to the blockchain can include details like the transaction amount, as well as the sender’s and recipient’s wallet addresses. It’s sometimes possible to use transaction and wallet information to identify the people involved in a specific transaction. And when you buy something from a seller who collects other information about you, like a shipping address, that information can also be used to identify you later on.
How To Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams
Scammers are always finding new ways to steal your money using cryptocurrency. To steer clear of a crypto con, here are some things to know.
Only scammers demand payment in cryptocurrency. No legitimate business is going to demand you send cryptocurrency in advance – not to buy something, and not to protect your money. That’s always a scam.
Only scammers will guarantee profits or big returns. Don’t trust people who promise you can quickly and easily make money in the crypto markets.
Never mix online dating and investment advice. If you meet someone on a dating site or app, and they want to show you how to invest in crypto, or asks you to send them crypto, that’s a scam.
Spot crypto-related scams
Scammers are using some tried and true scam tactics — only now they’re demanding payment in cryptocurrency. Investment scams are one of the top ways scammers trick you into buying cryptocurrency and sending it on to scammers. But scammers are also impersonating businesses, government agencies, and a love interest, among other tactics.
Investment scams often promise you can “make lots of money” with “zero risk,” and often start on social media or online dating apps or sites. These scams can, of course, start with an unexpected text, email, or call, too. And, with investment scams, crypto is central in two ways: it can be both the investment and the payment.