The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office recently charged a man from New York City with several crimes after he allegedly kidnapped his close friend and stole $1.8 million worth of ethereum from his cryptocurrency wallet at gunpoint. Hacking of online wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges is the popular way in which the cryptocurrencies get lost. But the recent incidence has confirmed that the traditional way of stealing is still applicable even with the digital currencies.
The incident occurred on November 4 when Louis Meza invited a friend to his apartment. After the meeting, Meza called a taxi to take his friend back home. At some point, the driver of the minivan redirected their route, pulled out the gun and demanded the secret password for his ethereum account. Furthermore, the driver demanded his house keys, wallet, and mobile phone.
A day after the incidence, the $1.8 million mysteriously showed up in the Meza’s ethereum account. According to the official statement from the Attorney’s office, the video surveillance disclosed how Meza accessed the victim’s apartment and obtained his digital wallet which enabled him to transfer about $1.8 million in ether to his own account.
Meza has been arrested and charged but he has denied his involvement in the offense. The police are still searching for the minivan driver who is at large. The incidence is a big lesson for all cryptocurrency investors; that it’s safe to keep your investment details to yourself and don’t share them with your close allies. It’s always good to remember that you have more enemies than friends.
The Attorney warned that such cases would be on the rise especially as the cryptocurrency values continue to surge upward. It was even possible in this case since the attackers carried all the stolen ethers to one account. Otherwise, if they had put the money into various digital wallets it would be difficult to trace the source. As the cryptocurrency continues to evolve, attackers and hackers also come up with new ways of making their game smarter. Be on the lookout!