Police Scotland have admitted that up to £1 million stolen in Scotland’s first crypto-jacking case is likely to be lost forever. Last week, the force secured a conviction against Lanarkshire man John Ross Rennie, accused of the violent robbery three years ago.
The robbery saw three masked intruders demand that one of the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, transfer a large amount of Bitcoin – an online currency – from their home in Blantyre. The virtual currency, worth up to £1 million, was then transferred to Rennie’s account.
Cryptocurrency scams are on the rise, but many more may not be reported. (Image: Getty Images)
When police accessed Rennie’s accounts, the funds had already been moved out. He claimed he was not involved in the robbery, and officers were unable to track down the three men responsible.
Detective Inspector Craig Potter said: “This is the first case in Scotland where movement of funds has been proven in court. We followed a long trail and made international inquiries that led us to Rennie.”
DI Potter added that cryptocurrency is increasingly being used by criminals and the police are adapting to this technology. He warned members of the public with cryptocurrency to be aware that they could become targets.
He said: “Anywhere where people are building up significant wealth is going to be a target for the criminal fraternity.”
DI Potter advised people to not boast about their cryptocurrency online, and to separate their funds into different accounts for added security.
Rennie is due to be sentenced at a later date. Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – sign up to our daily newsletter here.