- A cryptocurrency theft case in Malta has highlighted the importance of crypto security
- A fake business deal ended with the victim losing $700,000 in ZCX tokens after they briefly handed a scammer their phone
- The ongoing court case has exposed the quickfire crypto scam
The victim of a $700,000 cryptocurrency theft in Malta has described the brazen theft of his tokens by a would-be business partner from right under his nose. The trial of 25-year-old company director Luke Milton began yesterday with 27-year-old victim Dillon Attard explaining to the court how Milton stole 424,670.97 Unizen (ZCX) tokens during a business lunch in which he assumed he was investing $6,000 in a blockchain project. Instead, Milton transferred the entire contents of Attard’s wallet, and now faces charges of theft and money laundering, among others.
Fake Investment Opportunity Ends in Theft
Milton and Attard first after Attard stumbled across Milton’s supposed blockchain project which was seeking investment while he was looking for a cryptocurrency loan. Attard then spoke to Milton’s alleged business partner twice on the phone and also met at his office before setting up the meeting with Milton at a restaurant in Sliema, where the investment was due to be finalized.
At the meeting, Milton was happy to accept the $6,000 from Attard’s holding of ZCX tokens, with Attard handing over his phone to Milton to finalize the transaction, despite Attard’s concerns over the volatility of the market at the time. However, Milton insisted on going ahead with the transaction, and asked for Attard’s help in converting the currency.
Attard committed the cardinal sin of handing over his phone so Milton could scan the wallet barcode on his own device, but before doing so Milton allegedly changed the transaction so that all 424,670.97 ZCX tokens were sent instead of just 3,600.
Malta Crypto Theft Highlights Importance of Security
Once his phone was placed down on the table, Attard realized what had happened and grabbed his phone back. Seemingly not wanting to alert Milton to the fact he had been rumbled, Attard covertly contacted two friends of his in the police service and asked them to attend, making sure that Milton didn’t delete anything from his phone in the meantime. When the police arrived Milton claimed he had initiated the transaction as agreed but then “didn’t know what happened”.
The case is another reminder to practice strong personal security protocols, including not leaving huge sums of money on a personal device and never allowing someone else to handle a phone with a cryptocurrency wallet on it.