Cryptocurrency, said to be safer than bank accounts and online cash, may be losing a bit of its reputation. The San Francisco company, Augur, created the Reputation Token, and in December of 2016, they contacted the FBI about investors and employees who reported theft of cryptocurrency funds.

Those who claim that video games encourage crime might be onto something in this specific case, although not in the violent way that is often portrayed. A group of video game players who met playing the popular online first person shooter game “Call of Duty” have been accused in Chicago of thieving more than three million dollars in cryptocurrency. Two men, one from Dolton and the other from Bloomington, stand accused of hacking in order to steal this massive amount of online cryptocash.

“Call of Duty” Players Threatened Bloomington Suspect

The man from Bloomington informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he met the nefarious group of players playing Call of Duty, an online interactive game that requires vocal communication. He told the FBI that they “forced him to participate” by calling the police with a false report of a violent crime at his home, which is termed “SWATting” in online circles, since SWAT teams are often called in these situations.

The ring pulled him in with this initial threat and then informed him of the names, phone numbers, and personal information of the victims. The man informed officers that he helped to take over the phones of more than 100 victims, which enabled the group to hack into their online cryptocurrency accounts and steal their funds. Augur, a website that enables users to create markets where they predict outcomes on things (such as Reputation) and bet cryptocurrency on said outcomes, was the first company to report issues with targeting of cryptocurrency theft.

The group, which is still just suspects at this point and thus have not been identified, are currently suspected of stealing over $3 million in cryptocurrency, including $800k in Reputation tokens from Augur, that were moved through over crypto networks and into the suspects own digital accounts.

The Bloomington man came forward as early as March 2017, when he was interviewed by the FBI, and he claims to be nothing but cooperative with both the FBI and Augur. “I have never once profited from anyone [by] crypto-hacking, ever,” said the suspect, disputing that he helped to hack into far less than 100 phones.

A new break was reached in the case when, on August 1st, FBI agents seized computers and cell phones from the Dolton man’s residence, but more information has not yet been released on their findings.

Cryptocurrency Theft is an Emerging Issue

Cryptocurrency theft is a very serious crime–not just local police enforcement will be involved, but also potentially the FBI and other larger criminal investigation offices across the areas that the potential suspects may live in. In a situation where suspects are accused of cryptocurrency theft, you can be sure that there has been a years-long federal investigation to get the point of charging suspects for their crimes across many cooperating law enforcement offices.

If you or a loved one have been accused of an online crime, even something far less serious than cryptocurrency theft, it’s vital that you get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you have a spare moment. It’s not an easy task to fight accusations of hacking or online theft, but an experienced criminal lawyer like Vadim Glozman will help you to turn back these charges with legal knowledge and expertise.