Cryptocurrency is still on the rise. And, with this rise come plenty of cryptocurrency scams.
Apart from traditional money scams, people have to worry about digital scams, too. This, of course, extends to the still somewhat profitable market of cryptocurrency.
While some economists think the market is inherently a “pump and dump” scam, many remain active in the community and market. However, this leaves plenty of room to manipulate new adopters and unseasoned investors.
These three recent cryptocurrency scams expose different ways to get bamboozled.
Sky Mining CEO Absconds With $35-million in Funds
It isn’t often that a high profile CEO gets to run away to another country with millions of dollars in other people’s money. At least, not in the still growing cryptocurrency world.
But cryptocurrency mining conglomerate company Sky Mining CEO Lê Minh Tâm stands accused of stealing $35-million in investor funds.
The house of cards quickly fell after a group of investors reported suspicious activity to the local police. They found evidence that suggested an “exit scam” having been promised huge payouts, as well as bonuses for referring new investors.
“Maintenance” workers began removing mining rigs from the offices until the entire building lacked any former branding that it was Sky Mining. Tâm remained unreachable for a week.
Deputy Chairman Le Minh Hieu confirmed that Tâm absconded with a large sum of money and mining equipment, as well. These rigs worked much better than a modified Tesla mining rig, too.
After Hieu’s comments, Tâm spoke up claiming that he had been receiving medical treatment. He promised that he hadn’t, in fact, stolen the people’s money.
“You will have your money, thank you for your cooperation, I did not run or go anywhere, I will come back soon,” Tâm claims. But that remains to be seen as the story develops among other stories of cryptocurrency scams.
Keep in mind that this comes after a huge cryptocurrency scam in Vietnam to the tune of $660-million in investor money.
India Cracks Down on Multi-Million Dollar Scam
In June of 2018, India’s financial capital crime branch came down hard on a company known as The Flintstone Group.
The company offered “a lifestyle of Caribbean homes”, as well as promising African country citizenships to investors. This all centered around their “soon-to-be-legal” cryptocurrency known as the MoneyTradeCoin (MTC)
But a group of businessmen had already alerted Mumbai police to the company’s fraudulent business practices earlier this year.
After investing around $250,000 USD collectively, the company consistently missed payout dates to the businessmen. The company also didn’t provide any answers to questions the group asked them.
The police raided the company offices on June 4th of this year, detaining two people.
Similarly to the Sky Mining situation, one of the managing members and alleged mastermind — Amit Lakhanpal — remains at-large. Yet more similar is that The Flintstone Group had also promised investors huge payouts just like Sky Mining and other cryptocurrency scams.
Ultimately, the police will take further action, especially for the ~70 former employees.
Also….did anyone else flashback to the live-action Flintstones’ movie? Kyle Maclachlan literally plays a scheming CEO who tries to pin his embezzlement on Fred Flintstone.
I’m just saying….stranger things have happened.
Steam Removes a Video Game Cryptocurrency Miner
It was only a matter of time before a video game became a shell for crypto mining.
Right? In 2018, it’s hard to even tell what’s normal anymore. But yes — the video game Abstractism was actually a huge scam.
Billed as a “relaxing platformer”, the game offered simple design and easy gaming. However, YouTuber and Team Fortress 2 forum posters began to notice distinct oddities about the game and its available items.
You could spend real money on items that resembled rare things in other games. After a person bought said item, it turned out to be associated with a different game.
In fact, one user noted that MalwareBytes — a free and useful antivirus software — flagged the game’s executable file as a threat.
It turns out that the game files invaded user’s computers, infected them with the mining software, and leveraged power for mining. This was on top of the bogus item marketplace purchases, as well.
Game developer Okalo Union denied any initial accusations until someone suggested that they mined cryptocurrency. They said that “Bitcoin is outdated….We currently use Abstractism to mine only Monero coins.”
If you’re an Edgy Labs regular, you might remember that, in February of this year, our own writer Rechelle Ann Fuertes reported that Monero acted as mining malware on government websites.
As a result of the mounting evidence, Steam removed the game from their marketplace.