November 19 (The Ferowich Report) — A criminal ring in Istanbul, Turkey impersonated police officers and robbed a Turkish businessman of about $3.5 million worth of bitcoin who has apparently been flaunting the lavish gains of bitcoin wealth on social media sites.
The man was walking back to his car when a group of five men picked him off the street and stuffed him into the back of a van, the Daily Sabah reports. Over the next eight hours the victim surrendered banking login information and transferred 450 bitcoin out of his wallet, an irreversible transaction.
Following the extortion scheme, police identified the perpetrators through CCTV cameras and eventually detained them. It remains unclear whether the bitcoin will be recovered.
“One of the suspects was reportedly jailed for extortion but had fled, while another suspect propsed to his girlfried in an extravagant ceremony at a luxurious restaurant in Istanbul,” the Daily Sabah notes.
Why it matters: Cryptocommunity investors say the incident highlights why people should refrain from displaying bitcoin or cryptocurrency wealth in a public forum like social media; doing so creates a security risk.
More than $232 billion is stored in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin holdings comprise about 55 percent of the market with a network value of $129 billion, CoinMarketCap data show.