A Coinbase user lost $ 11.6 million in less than 10 minutes after falling into a fake notification scam, the United States Prosecutor’s Office said.

Although the notification appears to be from Coinbase, it was not.
  • Federal investigators have filed a warrant for 10.2 bitcoins held in a Huobi Global wallet.
  • The crypto was stolen from a Coinbase account in an $ 11.6 million heist, the government said.
  • Investigators said an unknown person sent a notification to a Coinbase user after purchasing 200 bitcoins.

A federal judge this month approved a warrant to recover more than $ 600,000 in bitcoin from a Huobi Global wallet, after federal investigators said it was part of an theft of $ 11.6 million on a Coinbase account.

In April, after a Coinbase user bought 200 bitcoins, a notification popped up warning him that his account had been locked, according to a complaint filed by the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles. Although the notification appears to be from Coinbase, it was not.

Instead, the bogus notification was the first step in an alleged fraud. In the moments that followed, nearly $ 11.6 million in crypto, roughly 206 bitcoins, was deleted from the user’s account, investigators said.

It is not known how the alleged fraudster learned about the Coinbase transaction and whether the online notification stated in the warrant appeared on a phone or computer.

Coinbase declined to comment.

The Coinbase user, who was only identified in court documents as GR, called a phone number on the notification, believing he would connect with a Coinbase customer service representative, according to a federal complaint filed by investigators last month.

An “unidentified person 1” or “UI-1” answered the call and asked GR to make a series of changes to the account, according to the complaint.

These changes included permission to access the account remotely, according to the complaint.

“Once access to the victim account was granted, the UI-1 increased the daily transaction limit and also attempted to disable certain notifications and alert settings on the victim account,” Dan G. Boyle wrote. , Assistant U.S. Attorney, in a document filed in the U.S. District. Central District Court of California in September.

Within moments, millions of bitcoins and XLMs were deleted from GR’s Coinbase account, investigators said.

“The total value of virtual currency transferred out of the victim’s account between 2:02:40 PST and 2:12:41 PST on or around April 20, 2021, without GR’s permission was approximately 11,570,138 $ “, they wrote in their complaint.

The money was then moved by an unknown person through a series of transactions between multiple accounts. According to investigators, around 10.2 bitcoins ended up in an account with Huobi Global, one of the largest exchanges in the world.

Investigators have filed a confiscation notice, seeking to recover these bitcoins. Huobi Global did not respond to a request for additional information.

In early October, Judge Dolly M. Gee approved the warrant request and a notice was issued, in case anyone other than GR wanted to claim ownership of bitcoin 10.2.

“Huobi has agreed to maintain a freeze of funds pending resolution of the forfeiture action,” Thom Mrozek, director of media relations for the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles, told Insider by email. “No one has been arrested or charged, but our investigation is ongoing.”

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