Coinbase Spoof Website Creator Stole $9.5 Million

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  • An Indian man has admitted to stealing $9.5 million from Coinbase users by creating a counterfeit website
  • Chirag Tomar’s fraudulent scheme involved tricking victims into disclosing login details, facilitating the theft from numerous individuals.
  • Arrested in December 2023, Tomar confessed to the crime last week and awaits sentencing later this year.

An Indian citizen, Chirag Tomar, confessed last week to stealing $9.5 million through a sophisticated cyber scam targeting users of crypto exchange Coinbase. Tomar’s scheme involved creating a fake version of Coinbase’s website, which he used to deceive unsuspecting victims into divulging their login credentials which enabled him to siphon the funds from hundreds of individuals. Tomar, who was arrested in December 2023, pleaded guilty to the crime and will be sentenced later in the year.

542 Victims

According to court documents filed in the Western District of North Carolina, Tomar and his collaborators operated the counterfeit website, known as Coinbase Pro, between June 2021 and Tomar’s arrest in December 2023. During this period, at least 542 victims fell prey to the scam, lured into providing their login information, unaware of the fraudulent nature of the site.

Investigations by the US Secret Service uncovered damning evidence linking Tomar to the crime ring. His use of an email account under his real name to communicate with other members of the group, as well as his meticulous record-keeping of victims and stolen funds, proved instrumental in his identification. Additionally, Tomar’s online searches for terms like “fake Coinbase page” and “how to take money from Coinbase without OTP” further incriminated him. Remarkably, Tomar utilized the same email address to apply for his US travel visa. 

Tomar Funded Lavish Lifestyle

Despite the extensive web of deceit he wove, his extravagant spending habits eventually drew attention. Using the proceeds from his fraudulent activities, Tomar indulged in a lavish lifestyle, purchasing luxury watches, high-end vehicles such and embarking on extravagant trips to destinations like London, Dubai, and Thailand.

Tomar was apprehended at the Atlanta airport on December 20, 2023, while visiting family on a travel visa. He now faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, each carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.