Fake HitBTC Customer Service Charged for $233,220 Bitcoin Theft

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

23 August 2019,
Fake HitBTC Customer Service Charged for $233,220 Bitcoin Theft

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon disclosed in a Thursday press release that charges have been brought against two Canadian nationals who duped an unsuspecting user of HitBTC crypto exchange.

The alleged fraudsters, Karanjit Singh Khatkar, and Jagroop Singh Khatkar reportedly posed themselves as customer service representatives of popular Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange, HitBTC.

The men opened a Twitter account with the username @HitBTCAssist and contacted the victim who apparently was seeking the solution to a difficulty encountered while using the exchange platform.

The unnamed victim who was unsuspecting of the trick disclosed his login details with the men, allowing them to access and withdraw BTC holdings worth of $233,220. 

According to the allegations, Karanjit sent 23.2 BTC (appr. 241,409 at press time) from HitBTC to his account on Kraken exchange before sending half of that amount to a wallet that his alleged accomplice Jagroops also held on Kraken.

Meanwhile, the release does not confirm under whose custody the said stolen BTC currently is, although it mentioned that authorities arrested Karanjit at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 18.

The alleged culprit will remain under custody pending court trial while his supposed accomplice “Jagroop Singh Khatkar remains at large and is believed to be in Canada.”

In a similar development in May, we reported that Europol arrested six people (five men and one woman) alleged to be behind a €24 million (appr. $27 million) cryptocurrency theft. 

A month before the Europol arrests, authorities in South Korea reportedly employed an AI tool to figure out the masterminds behind a cryptocurrency-related Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of up to $18.5 million.

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