Chinese Scammer Arrested for Stealing Data to Claim 40,000 STRK Tokens in Starknet Airdrop Fraud

Chinese Scammer Arrested for Stealing Data to Claim 40,000 STRK Tokens in Starknet Airdrop Fraud
Photo by Zanyar Ibrahim / Unsplash

In a recent crackdown on cybercrime, Chinese authorities have apprehended a man accused of orchestrating a sophisticated fraud involving the theft of 40,000 STRK tokens, valued at approximately $49,000. The arrest, which took place on April 25, 2024, highlights the ongoing challenges faced in the digital asset space, particularly concerning security and identity theft.

The individual, identified by the local media as Lan Mou, reportedly exploited personal data and GitHub tickets to illegitimately participate in the Early Community Member Program (ECMP) offered by the Starknet Foundation. This initiative, launched in November 2023, was designed to engage the community in identifying bugs and technical flaws in the project’s code, with 50 million STRK tokens allocated for distribution to participants.

Lan’s method involved the unauthorized access and use of other individuals’ GitHub accounts. He filled out the ECMP form multiple times—approximately 40 submissions were made under different stolen identities, according to police reports. His activities did not go unnoticed, and a formal complaint led to his arrest.

During his apprehension, law enforcement seized his computer and two mobile phones, which are currently under forensic examination to ascertain the full extent of his fraudulent activities. Following the theft, Lan Mou swiftly transferred the 40,000 STRK tokens to his account on the OKX exchange platform, where he converted them into 91,000 USDT.

The case is still under investigation, as authorities aim to uncover potentially broader implications of this fraud, including the identification of additional victims and the examination of security measures employed by the involved platforms. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities present in the rapidly evolving digital currency landscape, prompting calls for enhanced protective measures and stricter regulatory oversight to safeguard community members and stakeholders.