Blockchain Influencer’s Matthias Mende Identity Stolen in International Cybercrime
On February 18, 2020 SVT, Sweden’s national public television broadcaster, featured a crypto fraud scam report. The popular crime show “Veckans Brott” reports about a Swedish woman, who remains anonymous, lost more than half a million dollars as a victim of this fast-growing crime. Matthias Mende was an unknowing victim of identity theft in this story. The criminal identified himself as “Howard Manton.” But for his picture, he used Mende’s face on fake IDs, passports, LinkedIn, Skype, and Instagram. The thieve stole the high-resolution profile picture of Mende to created those IDs.
The SVT story shares a chronological sequence of events as told by the victim which eventually led her to eventually file a police report. Upon first visiting Tony Robbins’ website, she was later contacted by “Howard Manton,” a man she believed worked for Mr. Robbins. He then advised her to make several online investments that appeared to be profitable. Sometimes “Howard Manton” would share pictures and videos of Mende who is living a prestigious lifestyle.
After a series of red flags and cross-checking, she later realized that the criminal had targeted her in a crypto-investment scheme–a crime with thousands of reported cases totaling hundreds of millions in theft each year.
By doing a backward picture search on google the reporter Karin Fagerlund was able to find the Instagram Account of Mende. Matthias Mende is a German National and was living in Dubai when reporter Fagerlund contacted him for an interview. An award-winning entrepreneur and technology influencer who is also the industry advisor at the Dubai Blockchain Center. When Mende learned that his identity was used in the crime, he was shocked. He shared that it saddens him and empathizes with the enormous impact it has not only on the victim but the victim’s families.
Video Story – Begins at 12:05
Video Interview with Matthias – 23:51 -24:58
The report is in Swedish, by using google translate in the chrome browser it will automatically translate the Swedish subtitle into your prefered language.
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