Money Stolen: $660,79 million
Investors Suffered: 32 000
One of the fraudulent projects, which grossed the money back in April, and is heading for the prize as the top-earning scam of that year. It is believed that two ICO campaigns, which managed by the same company operating from Vietnam, had truly gotten a global scale and deceived about 32,000 investors and lured out staggering 660 million dollars out of their pockets. The company Modern Tech left its offices in Ho Chi Minh city fast, taking the investors’ money away. This particular fraud is already supposed to be the one of the largest in the history of ICO.
The story is quite similar to many like this. How did the events unfold this time though? Investors came out to protest after the project company stopped paying money. The city administration ordered the police to investigate the case of fraud. Both ICOs have been later classified as multi-level marketing scams. The first one, iFan has been positioned as a social network for celebrities to advertise content for fans. Meanwhile, Pincoin promised a 40% monthly income from investments. The project claimed that it was creating an online platform combining an advertising network, an auction, investment portal and a p2p platform based on blockchain technology. All in one.
Initial Coin Offering (ICO) had become quite popular as unregulated means of crowdfunding via use of cryptocurrency became the primary source of capital for many startup companies. As even in late 2018, most ICOs are not egulated, scammers have a lot of options and tools to get your money.
The already infamous Modern Tech company managed to convince people into investing in another two new cryptocurrencies produced by them – Ifan and Pincoin. As usual, they told that the value of these coins would increase over time and make them rich. Of course, both of these scams had white papers and professional websites.
Here is what happened next:
Sharing is caring. So much for it though. The PIN Project was about building an online collaborative consumption platform for global community, base on principles of Sharing Economy, Blockchain Technology, and cryptocurrency.
What is about the PIN Coin (PIN)? It’s a ERC-20 token issued by the PIN Foundation to carry out a number of functions inside the PIN digital ecosystems as well as over the world. Pincoin used MLM recruiting and promised to give 9 ways to earn.
How did it end up? Like in all the Ponzi schemes, investors could see the value of their token rise within the platforms’ system, but they were unable to withdraw their profits in cash. High Yield Investment Program was quite successful in raising trusty investor funds though.
Speaking about the next achievement of the scam-industry, the outlined and mostly promoted feature of the iFan platform is the sharing of profits against celebrities, enabling them to generate revenue based on their content, images and information on social networks. Actors, idols, athletes, or celebrities all who act in present or even who have retired, they still manage and work to attract their fans.
iFan Roadmap described a lot of opportunities:
It was reported that investors in IFan’s crypto program may earn up to 48% interest per month:
And the “happy final” is about the same as everywhere – at the end investors could see the value of their token rise within the platforms’ system only, and they were unable to withdraw their profits in cash – basically like in all the Ponzi schemes.
The real fraudsters behind these projects is a team of seven Vietnamese nationals, who held numerous different conferences: in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and even remote areas – everything to lure the funds from investors.
Numerous victims of this scam have crushed on social media and forums about losing a fortune when investing into the fraud scheme. Others were collecting signatures of victims to file an official complaint to ask for their money back.
A group of victims said the company had conned them out of VND15 trillion (US$660.79 million) – quite impressive result in the fraud industry.
Moreover, while Vietnam was reported to have been preparing to legalize legitimate cryptocurrencies like the Bitcoin back in 2017, the central bank has since enforced laws to prohibit the usage of the Bitcoin as legal tender in the country.