Technology

How YouTuber Crypto Gouv stole 4 million euros by cheating his subscribers

Crypto Gouv, a mysterious YouTuber who specializes in cryptocurrencies, has scammed 200 to 300 internet users. The swindler fled with the loot of 4 million euros. While the victims tried to establish the true identity of the thief, the Paris prosecutor’s office launched an investigation.

In mid-July, the Paris prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into the Crypto Gouv YouTube channel, according to our colleagues from France Inter. About forty complaints were filed against the YouTuber, whose real identity is unknown.

In a few months, the videographer managed to unite a community of 4,000 Internet users. Like many YouTubers, he took advantage of the enthusiasm generated by the rise in the price of cryptocurrencies. In closed Discord and Telegram groups, the scammer provided free investment advice and market analysis. He also published trading recommendations.

Read also: Beware, LinkedIn has been taken over by cryptocurrency scammers

Fraud with Crypto Gov

Crypto Gouv soon invited their community to pool their investments. Over time, he managed to convince 200 to 300 people to trust him with their money. To lure his victims, the YouTuber promised very high capital gains despite the recent downturn in the cryptocurrency market.

In particular, Crypto Gouv has created several communities based on the proposed investments. In particular, the videographer launched a group dedicated to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the StepN app for making money and cryptocurrency trading. To win the trust of subscribers, he also set up a company in the UK.

“Investors placed one hundred euros, others – several tens of thousands of euros. In a very short time, Crypto Gouv has created many groups and investment projects,” explains Maître Jeremy Asta-Vola, lawyer for the four plaintiffs, in an interview with France Inter.

Here is where the trap closes in for internet users. After receiving funds from their community, Crypto Gouv got together. In a video posted to YouTube on July 9, 2022, he reveals the existence of a scam. Without the slightest remorse, the scammer even explains the behind-the-scenes operation to his subscribers, now aware that he has been manipulated for months.

“It’s like you entrust a certain amount to a financial investment advisor and he just walks away with your money. There is a mass audience that is interested in these practices. Inevitably, some attackers see this as an opportunity. This type of fraud is on the rise,” warns Maestro Jeremy Asta-Vola.

To play a prank, Crypto Gouv even wrote a complete guide to cheating on his Telegram and Discord groups. For example, he explains that he has bought hundreds of certified ID or passport accounts on cryptocurrency exchange platforms such as FTX, Binance or KuCoin. Crypto Gouv indicates that he secured his identity with a VPN and a proxy server.

In a video now removed from YouTube, Crypto Gouv even elaborates that he is aware that he faces up to five years in prison. Youtubeur then passed out with a €4 million jackpot.

Hunt for Crypto Gov

Crypto Gov victims quickly organized to help each other and get their money back. A Discord server has been set up to host all information related to the case. In the process, a website was created to facilitate the filing of complaints.

At the same time, some subscribers started looking for the real identity of Crypto Gouv. While interacting with the community, the scammer allegedly revealed his name to appease his victims. Photos of his ID in support, he claimed his name was Romain Fournier.

Please note that Crypto Gouv only used photos from the free image bank. By doing a reverse search, we find a footprint of the photo on Depositphotos.

Based on this information, many internet users came into contact with a person named Romain Fournier on social media. The man looks a bit like the man in the photographs. It was a false trail. As he explains on his Twitter account, the date and place of birth on Crypto Gov’s ID is different from his. The Internet user explains that he was the victim of identity theft.

The very well trained Crypto Gov apparently used a fake ID. With this counterfeit coin, he tried to set up a company in France, probably to fool his victims. The French authorities realized the deception and the request was denied. In addition, all the addresses provided by Crypto Gouv turned out to be fake. They correspond to mailboxes located in Paris. The scammer took the time to cover his tracks.

It is important to note that Crypto Gov allegedly converted all the stolen funds into Monero, an anonymous secured cryptocurrency. This transformation prevents assets from being tracked on the blockchain. On the Monero blockchain, we cannot identify the person who sent the money, nor the address receiving the funds, nor the amount of the exchange. The network is completely opaque.

Cryptocurrency scams like this are not uncommon. Recently, the manager of Tradex Asset Management, a Spanish trading club, set sail with an alleged €4 million jackpot. According to the Iberian press, it was a perfectly classic Ponzi scheme. This type of scam is to lure investors into a trap by rewarding them with money invested by new victims.

Source :

France Inter

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