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Crypto thieves in the English capital are taking a step further on the streets of London – as “crypto muggings” are reportedly the more common cases in the region. Apparently, criminals hold victims hostage and steal crypto funds from the wallets on their phones.
According to reports from The Guardian, one of the reported victims was pinned to the wall and forcefully coerced to unlock his phone and wallet using a facial recognition ID.
Upon gaining access to his account, the culprits made away with over $7,400 worth of XRP.
However, the newspaper publication further cited that the victim had only agreed to go down the alley with the gang with intentions to buy some cocaine – which they offered to do as they lured him. They eventually gained access to his phone as they requested to type in a phone number.
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Elsewhere, in another incident, muggers reportedly targeted a man who was only trying to order an Uber.
He was forced off his phone, and although his phone was given back to him, he later realized that his Coinbase account was swept off — with up to $6000 worth of Ether stolen.
The City of London Police also disclosed in a report that a mugger had targeted a man who was vomiting under a bridge. In this case, the victim was coerced to unlock his phone using fingerprint scanner — all of his other security settings were changed. The mugger eventually got away with around $35,000 worth of funds.
Following these reports, British police forces are reportedly now receiving training to ensure they have the facilities to investigate crypto crimes adequately.
However, Phil Ariss of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said that investors should also take some responsibility to reduce the risk of being targeted, adding:
“You wouldn’t walk down the street holding £50 notes and counting them. That should apply to people with crypto assets.”