Austrian Police are Searching for Bitcoin Scammers Across Europe

Feb 18, 2018 at 16:55 // News
Coin Idol
Austrian police to hunt down bitcoin scammers

Austrian law officers have asked Interpol for help in tracking down the perpetrators of a Bitcoin scam that happened last year. The notorious scam dubbed “Optioment” has allegedly damaged over ten thousand cryptocurrency investors in the country and across Europe and stolen as many as 12,000 Bitcoins.

Fraudsters promised on their website, now offline, available on the Internet Archive:

“OPTIOMENT pays you Bitcoins when you share it with your friends and business colleagues.”

"Our unlevel compensation plan’s first level pays you 7%, second level 4%, third level 3% and way more. And it pays you everytime a member in your downline makes a deposit, not only for the first time but for every time. Active and Passive!"

Die Presse informed that scammers used the promise of rising returns of 1.5%-4% per week on their deposited Bitcoins as a lure for investors. They also guaranteed a reward for everyone who brought a new user into the fold.

The Beginning of the End

In the weeks before the collapse of fintech startup Optioment, the biggest investor meeting, around 700 participants, was gathering at a hotel in Vienna. The net of the Bitcoin trading scheme spread also to Poland, Romania, and former Yugoslavia.

The crash of the investment scam on the financial market eventually happened in November 2017, however, payouts were made regularly for several months before it. As Die Presse reported, at the end of January, Austria’s Financial Markets Authority started working together with the prosecutors’ office in Vienna to take measures on the suspicion of fraud and pyramid play.

Police Investigation

Prosecutors in Vienna were receiving “hundreds of complaints” from investors across the entire country about Optioment – spokeswoman Christina Ratz said by telephone.

Ratz added that two people have been found to be guilty on the fraudulence by police, who are looking for a few others now, including some abroad. Even Interpol is asked by law enforcement officials of Austria to search for additional suspects in Denmark, Latvia, and Germany. No arrests have been made.