The Rise of OTC Crypto Scammers in South Korea

The Rise of OTC Crypto Scammers in South Korea

Recently, six suspected OTC crypto scammers were apprehended in Incheon, South Korea, as confirmed by the local police. The suspects, all between the ages of 20 and 39, were accused of stealing $747,000 in cash through a fraudulent over-the-counter trade. The incident took place in the Songnim District of Eastern Incheon on February 19, around 4 pm. A victim reported that they had arranged to exchange approximately $747,000 for cryptocurrency at a discounted rate with vendors they had contacted through social media channels. However, upon meeting, the vendors took the victim’s cash, counted it in their van, and then forcibly pushed the victim out of the vehicle before fleeing.

The number of high-value OTC crypto thefts is on the rise in South Korea. In early January, a man in his 20s was arrested in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, on theft-related charges. Similarly, he lured victims with the promise of selling cryptocurrency at a low price and absconded with $10,700 in cash without transferring any coins. Following the arrest of the suspects in Incheon, a police official emphasized the need to investigate the origins of the funds involved in such crimes. Additionally, he warned the public about the growing trend of scams where people are enticed to sell virtual currency at a low price or make significant profits through fake investment opportunities.

In September 2023, South Korean regulators expressed their desire to strengthen their oversight of the OTC crypto sector. At an event organized by the Financial Services Commission and the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office Virtual Asset Crime Joint Investigation Team, it was highlighted that domestic OTC markets had become breeding grounds for virtual currency-related crimes. With the recent surge in OTC crypto scams, authorities are looking to enhance their regulatory powers to combat fraudulent activities more effectively.

The prevalence of OTC crypto scams has raised concerns within the cryptocurrency trading community in South Korea. Traders are urged to exercise caution and vigilance while engaging in over-the-counter transactions to avoid falling victim to fraudulent schemes. The influence of South Korean crypto traders has significantly increased during the recent Bitcoin rally, making it crucial for traders to stay informed and alert to protect their assets.

The rise of OTC crypto scams in South Korea underscores the importance of implementing robust regulatory measures and fostering greater awareness among the public and traders. As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, combating fraudulent activities and safeguarding investors’ interests must remain a top priority for authorities and industry stakeholders alike.


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