When you hold a lot of cryptocurrency in your wallets, there are quite a few concerns that you would usually have. These range from Malware to hackers and exchange problems.
However, something that you would not usually expect is to be robbed of your cryptocurrencies in the traditional way, through violence and the threat of it.
This is exaclty what happened to a man in New Jersey. The man was kidnapped by a friend of his and he was forced to hand over the password of his digital wallet.
According to the report, the victim was busy visiting his friend, 35 year old Louis Meza. When the victim was leaving the apartment, Mr Meza ordered him a car.
What the victim thought may have been an Uber was in reality an unknown man in a minivan. When he got into the car, the driver pulled out a gun and threatened the victim.
The driver asked the victim to hand over his private keys and password to his wallet that contained the Ethereum. The link was made clear when security cameras at the victim’s apartment were able to capture Louis removing the digital wallet.
The victim was able to escape after this and made a call to 911.
Given that the victim was able to escape was indeed the lucky part of the whole story. If a criminal who has a gun is able to steal $1.8m in cryptocurrency, they would most likely have completed the deed by killing the victim.
Upon accessing the digital device, Mr Meza emptied the funds into his own wallet. However, on the next day the police arrested him and charged him with kidnapping, robbery in the first degree, computer trespass and grand larceny. They were not able to locate the accomplice.
The defendant has entered a plea deal of not guilty and is being held on a $1m bond or a $500,000 cash bail. If he is convicted however, he could face a sentence of over 2 years in prison.
Moral of the Story
Although there are usually a range of cursory lessons that are learned in the case of a security breach, in this case the advice is rather well known.
The victim should have been a bit more discerning about who his friends were and who he told about his cryptocurrency holdings. Even if you trust your friends, cryptocurrencies are held for the purposes of secrecy.
The victim should also be careful about whose cars he is getting into as any kidnap victim could have told you in the past.
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