An Indian man admitted to creating a fake Coinbase and stealing $9.5 million from users

An Indian national has pleaded guilty to US authorities for creating a fake Coinbase website that was used to steal user credentials and then steal more than $9.5 million in cryptocurrency from hundreds of victims.

Chirag Tomar, 30, was detained at the Atlanta airport on December 20, 2023, while visiting his family on a tourist visa. He was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, for which he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Fraud scheme and attacker's mistakes
CourtWatch's Seamus Hughes first reported on Tomar's case. On December 20, 2023, Tomar flew to his family in the United States on a tourist visa, but he was arrested at the Atlanta airport.

According to court documents, Tomar and his co-conspirators created a fake version of the Coinbase Pro website in order to trick Coinbase customers into providing their credentials. From early June 2021 until Tomar's arrest in late 2023, at least 542 people became victims of cryptocurrency theft.

It is clear from court documents that Tomar was identified as a gang member because he used his real email account to interact with known and unknown co-conspirators in the scam. In addition, he kept a detailed spreadsheet his victims and information about the amounts stolen from each of them, and also sent identification documents obtained fraudulently to other email addresses used to open accounts on the Binance cryptocurrency exchange.

Between June 2021 and October 2022, Tomar actively searched the internet for information about fake Coinbase pages, Coinbase scams, scams in the US, and ways to get money from Coinbase without an OTP. Tomar used the same email address to apply for a US tourist visa.

Using the proceeds of the fraud, Tomar lived a luxurious lifestyle, purchasing Rolex and Audemars Piguet watches, as well as luxury cars such as Lamborghinis and Porsches. He also regularly traveled to various places including London, Dubai and Thailand.
AML Crypto opinion
Considering the mistakes the fraudster made, he cannot be called a criminal genius. But even with this level of training, he was able to deceive hundreds of users and steal an impressive amount.

This is another example of how popular phishing is among cybercriminals and how easy it is to fall for it. We described how to figure out this scheme and not fall for it in this article.

And we at AML Crypto remind you that you can check your crypto wallet for cleanliness, perform AML address verification, track the transaction - this and more you can do in our solution Btrace. Free AML wallet verification for every new user.
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