Thousands duped in biggest crypto scam to date: Report
In what experts say is the biggest crypto scam to date, thousands of people are believed to have lost their life savings after investing in a cryptocurrency trading app called iEarn Bot.
Roxana (real name changed), a Romanian who requested anonymity said she lost hundreds of euros using iEarn Bot. Clients like her became convinced that the company’s artificial intelligence software would manage their money. In addition, the company promised a significant return on investment.
“I invested in a fine for one month,” she told the BBC. “You could see in the app how many dollars the app generated: there were graphics that showed how the investment was going.
“It looked pretty professional until at one point they announced maintenance.”
“Some people started saying ‘I can’t withdraw… what’s going on’,” said Roxana. “I made the request to withdraw and the money just disappeared. The portfolio became zero – but I was never credited with money in my wallet.”
During a BBC investigation, the company’s credentials were found to be extremely fictitious. It purports to be a US-based business whose founder is a man who has reported them to law enforcement because he has never heard of them.
Not only that, but guess who the company’s strategic partners are? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Huawei and Qualcomm are on the list, but they are not affiliated with the business and have no knowledge of it.
The company has no contact information on its website, and its Facebook page, which is empty for Vietnam and Cambodia, promoted weight loss items until the end of 2021.
Silvia Tabusca of the European Center for Law Education and Research, a Romanian expert on organized crime, began researching iEarn Bot after learning that many people in other nations had also lost money to the scam.
– Based on what we have seen, the number of investors is quite high, she says. “In Indonesia, for example, they have [iEarn Bot] claims they had 800,000 customers.”
The company placed a strong focus on encouraging investors to sign up new users for the app. “The way people in this company operate is more like a Ponzi scheme than an actual business,” says Tabusca.
Cryptocurrency trading has grown in popularity. Users are often promised significant gains over short periods of time. Nevertheless, law enforcement authorities warn of increased fraud and urge investors to exercise caution before putting their money online.
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