Tue, April 16, 2024

Tether Halts $1.4M Scam; Cooperation With the FBI

Tether

Quick Look

  • Tether freezes $1.4m USDT to aid U.S. law enforcement in a tech scam crackdown.
  • Ethereum’s price surges as the Dencun upgrade approaches, promising reduced gas fees.
  • Victims, mainly senior citizens, unknowingly got into transferring funds to protect against fake hacking alerts.
  • Tether’s global cooperation led to freezing 800 million USDT tied to illegal activities.
  • The Dencun upgrade, scheduled for March 13, 2024, heralds Ethereum’s “The Surge” era for enhanced scalability.

Tether announced its recent action against a tech scam targeting U.S. senior citizens. On March 12, Tether revealed it had frozen approximately $1.4 million in USDT. This move, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, aims to recover assets for fraud victims. The scam involved misleading pop-ups that warned of non-existent hacking threats. Victims were tricked into converting their savings to cryptocurrency, supposedly to safeguard their bank accounts.

Tether has been proactive, freezing assets in 41 wallets in December due to sanctions and assisting with 68 requests from the Department of Justice. In total, 188 wallets containing 70 million USDT were blocked. This action is part of Tether’s cooperation with 19 jurisdictions worldwide, freezing 800 million USDT in addresses linked to hacking and theft.

Tether, FBI Halt $3-4M Tech Scam Operation

Further investigation into the tech support scam revealed imposters posing as employees of major tech companies. Scammers deceived one victim out of $3 to $4 million through fake alerts, transferring the funds to accounts at Crypto.com before converting them to USDT. The FBI identified wallets containing stolen funds, which Tether then froze. This is not Tether’s first involvement in seizing illicit funds. Previous partnerships with law enforcement have led to the seizure of $9 million in USDT from pig-butchering scams and $225 million linked to human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

Ethereum’s Surge: Dencun Upgrade Fuels $4K Rally

In parallel financial news, Ethereum has seen a significant price surge, crossing the $4,000 mark for the first time since December 2021. This increase comes ahead of the much-anticipated Dencun upgrade, scheduled for March 13, 2024. The upgrade will introduce EIP-4844, aiming to reduce gas fees on Layer 2 networks, although not affecting Layer 1 fees. This marks the beginning of “The Surge” era for Ethereum. It targets scalability improvements with the potential to support 100,000 transactions per second.

The timeline leading to these events includes Tether freezing assets due to OFAC sanctions and its ongoing efforts to assist in various investigations. The recent $1.4 million USDT freeze underscores Tether’s commitment to combating financial crime and aiding law enforcement. With the Ethereum Dencun upgrade, the crypto community is on the cusp of a new era of scalability and efficiency. Therefore, these developments reflect the dynamic nature of the cryptocurrency sector, emphasizing the importance of security, cooperation with law enforcement, and technological advancements for future growth.

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