Austria seeks Interpol’s help to bust Bitcoin scammers who stole $115M

Haythem Elmir

Another day another Bitcoin scam in which unsuspected users have been targeted by cybercriminals and the numbers of victims keeps growing with every passing day. In the latest scam, the government of Austria is seeking the help of Interpol to track down scammers who stole more than $155 million worth of Bitcoin from hundreds or even thousands of cryptocurrency investors across Europe in a scheme called Optioment.

The scheme has been showing more and more affected people who have registered their complaints at police stations in the Austrian capital and they may have reached up to 10,000 people.


According to Bloomberg, the Austrian Federal Police have already identified two people who are accused of fraud in these complaints and are seeking to identify several others, including some outside Austria. Although no one has been arrested yet, the law enforcement authorities in Austria have also called Interpol to assist them in tracking suspects in Denmark, Germany, and Latvia.

Optioment was a Bitcoin exchange started in 2016 and claimed to be “based in Costa Rica aiming to generate competitive returns by investing Bitcoin in safe arbitrage trading.” According to Austrian newspaper Die Presse, Optioment facilitated several cryptocurrency events in the country in which over 700 people participated; the company promised high returns for investors resulting in it being attractive to a lot of people who put their bitcoins in the scheme.

However, the website’s operators ran away with user funds and at the time of publishing this article, the website was down while its archive version was available here. Most of the victims of this scheme are from Austria while others are from Germany, Romania, and Poland etc.

The investigation is on; therefore it will be interesting to see who is behind the highly sophisticated Bitcoin scam. Moreover, if you are a cryptocurrency investor, it is advised not to store your funds in an online wallet and chose a hardware wallet. Here is a detailed review of 5 safest Bitcoin wallets.

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