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Tue 8 Nov 2016 12:14 PM

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Police solve first Bitcoin scam in Dubai

Unemployed Asian had allegedly ripped off three Gulf residents to the tune of just over $100,000

Police solve first Bitcoin scam in Dubai
(AFP/Getty Images)

Dubai Police has cracked the first case of Bitcoin theft after three Gulf residents were conned out of $102,179 (AED375,000), according to a news report.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be traded or used to buy goods or services.

According to 7 Days, an unemployed Asian had set up an Instagram profile posing as a businessman interested in buying Bitcoins and got in touch with the three GCC residents.

The trio gave their passwords to allow the con artist to check their Bitcoin account following which he transferred the amount to his two accounts, said General Khamis Mattar Al Muzaina, Director of Dubai Police.

The police also set up a fake account of a young, wealthy man looking to sell 1,000 Bitcoins as a bait to arrest the conman, which was successful.

Colonel Salim bin Salmin, Deputy Director of the Cyber-Crimes Department at Dubai Police, told the newspaper that the conman had moved from staying in shared accommodation to renting an apartment on Sheikh Zayed Road, driving jet-skis and quad-bikes, and buying expensive watches.

The case has been referred to Dubai Public Prosecution with the culprit facing fraud charges, the newspaper said.

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