Dubai Police Recover $1.9 Million Taken In Bitcoin Heist Using AI Tech

Francisco Memoria
  • Police in Dubai managed to recover $1.9 million that were taken from two brothers who were looking to buy bitcoin.
  • The brothers were ttacked by a gang of 10 men. All of them were arrested within 48 hours of the incident.

Police in Dubai have recently been able to arrest ten gang members who reportedly stolen 7 million AED ($1.9 million) from two Asian brothers who were looking to buy bitcoin in the Al Muraqabbat area, according to news outlet Gulf News.

Per the news outlet’s report, the two brothers wanted to buy the flagship cryptocurrency, and were lured by some of the gang’s members to an office inside a market. In it, they were then assaulted, robbed at gunpoint, and threatened before being tied and locked inside said office. The assailants then fled the scene.

Lieutenant Colonel Adel Al Joker, Director of Dubai police's Criminal Investigation Department, stated:

"The brothers searched randomly in the market to buy Bitcoin. The gang lured them claiming they can sell them Bitcoin.”

Lieutenant Colonel Adel Al Joker

While six members were inside the office with the two brothers, three reportedly waited outside. The gang’s members managed to get access to the office by tricking its owner into believing they were going to buy it.

Per Dubai Police’s commander-in-chief, Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, the gang’s mastermind was identified within four hours of the incident, and his whole gang had reportedly been caught within 48 hours, as police quickly managed to locate them. The stolen funds were reportedly returned to the two victims.

Major General Khali Ebrahim Al Mansour, assistant commander-in-chief, revealed that the police’s success was partly driven by the data analysis center using smart programs and artificial intelligence technology to trace the gang’s members. He was quoted as saying:

“Using AI helped Dubai Police to arrest a Gulf National, who is the head of the gang, and other Asian suspects The information from the data analysis center helped the officers to arrest all gang members."

Major General Khali Ebrahim Al Mansour

Attacks in which criminals try to get bitcoin from their victims are seemingly increasing. As recently covered, two robbers used bear spray to steal from bitcoin ATMs in the United States earlier this month. CCTV footage of the robbery ended up on YouTube.

Bitcoin Scam Artists are Using Fake QR Code Generators: Report

  • ZenGO published report showing crypto scammers are using QR code generators to steal crypto.
  • Scam websites are showing up at the top of Google searches. 

Researchers have issued a warning that scam artists are using Google search results and QR code generators as a potential avenue for fraud.

Fake QR Code Generators

According to the report by ZenGO, four of the first five Google search results for questions like “bitcoin QR generator,” led to scam websites. Rather than generating new wallet addresses for users, these QR codes lead back to the scammer’s bitcoin wallet ultimately causing theft of BTC. 

The report highlighted QR codes as a particularly malicious method for scammers to target crypto wallets, as users are unable to read or differentiate between addresses.

According to the report, 

These sites generate a QR code that encodes an address controlled by the scammers, instead of the one requested by the user, thus directing all payments for this QR code to the scammers.

The report continues, 

Scammers do not even bother with generating their fake QR themselves, instead they shamelessly call a blockchain explorer API to generate the QR for their address.

ZenGO estimates that the simple scam may have already cost users $20,000 in stolen BTC. The company recommends users avoid googling for QR code generators and instead use a trusted block explorer. They also recommend verifying the address of the QR code before sharing it with others. 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com