A crime that won’t pay? Five people were indicted yesterday in Paris for theft of several non-fungible tokens (NFTs), including Bored Apes. Proof that law enforcement is increasingly responsive to these new types of theft?
In Paris, 5 people indicted for NFT theft
The prosecution confirmed to AFP that the five people would have carried out these thefts between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022. It was phishing: they would have the victims believe they could animate their profile photos, thus recovering the information allowing them to steal the non-fungible tokens.
Several collections were targeted, but unsurprisingly it was the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) that brought the most money for the criminals. A coin that is worth almost a million dollars it really would have been stolen. In total, the police identified five victims, one of whom allegedly suffered the theft of 3 NFTs. The amount of the fraud would amount to $ 2.5 million.
The suspects are believed to have arisen between 1998 and 2003 and would reside in Paris, Caen and Tours respectively. The parents of one of them were also taken into custody, then released without trial, according to the indictment. Two of them would take care of the fake website and marketing, and the other three would promote these fake services on offer.
👉 To go further – What is a non-fungible token (NFT)?
A Twitter user behind the investigation
According to Christophe Durand, the head of the proceedings, he is a Twitter user which he would initially investigate on his side. She reported the case to the police, who would verify his information to prosecute the defendants.
NEW LIVE ARTICLE: Tracking Down French Phishing Scammers Who Stole Millions https://t.co/BHBHBGGobH
– ZachXBT (@zachxbt) 8 August 2022
A computer school to which one of the suspects belongs a priori had reacted to the news, explaining presented the report to his teams:
Thanks for the report, I will pass it on to our education and administrative teams. I also invite you to consult your rights and contact the authorities at https://t.co/WXwKhgRstn.
– 42 (@ 42born2code) August 9, 2022
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Law enforcement is training on the blockchain
Investigation it had been opened by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on 23 August by the Central Office for Combating Crime Related to Information and Communication Technologies (OCLCTIC). In France as elsewhere, the police have had to train in these new technologies to better track criminals.
As we explained to you in our interview with Major Erwan Bouliou, the police force start having specific training for this type of crime. The NFT industry in particular is relatively new, so education about it is key to prosecuting offenders.
👉 On the same topic – Police and Gendarmerie are recruiting blockchain experts
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