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Crypto scam alert: 30-year old dark web user charged by SEC

Cryptopolitan


TL;DR Breakdown

  • A Dark Web user, Apostolos Trovias has been involved in fraudulent schemes.
  • The SEC had detained the user for the sale of fake stock trading tricks by posing as an insider.
  • The man developed “The Bull” as his visible name on AlphaBay and took payments only in Bitcoin.

A 30-year old male from Greece was taken into custody by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC as he was charged with committing frauds like money laundering. The man was actually responsible for the sale of fake stock trading tricks by posing as an insider of some of the other companies.

The Dark Web user was actually named Apostolos Trovias and was Greek in origin. The SEC told that the man would pose as an office clerk in a branch and trap people into buying his stock tips. The thing to be noted here is that the person only accepted payments in the form of Bitcoins.

The Dark Web user was active since 2016

The Dark Web user, Apostolos Trovias has been committing this fraud since December 2016. Apostolos Trovias used “The Bull” username posing as a clerk from December 2016 to February 2021 for selling these tips in the form of monthly or weekly subscriptions.

Apostolos Trovias was engaged in the sale of yet-to-be-published financial and monetary reports of prominent public firms. He had actually devised his users on the basis of weekly buyers, monthly customers along with one-time payers.

Trovias used Dark Web marketplaces

The Dark Web users would lure his customers to marketplaces which include AlphaBay, ASAP, Nightmare along the Dream. Along with these marketplaces, Apostolos Trovias also built his own website so that it would be easier for him to fool more people and rope in new customers for his subscriptions.

In order to hide his payments from the government, he used cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The SEC hasn’t been able to figure out if the “tips” were received from another entity and if he was just a middle man or he simply made guesses.

The regulation of crypto is definitely a necessity otherwise more people will be fooled. In order to prevent such cases, people should be more cautious when asked for crypto payments by any vendor.



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