PlusToken netted at least $ 2 billion in 2018 and the first half of 2019
As AZCoin News reported, in 2019, there were many major cryptocurrency scams such as PlusToken, Cloud Token, or Foin coin. These scams often leave substantial damages to the victims. In it, PlusToken is one of the most massive Bitcoin frauds.
Ponzi schemes are the latest form of Bitcoin fraud, such as PlusToken
This time, the story of PlusToken will be told through Seo Jin-ho, a travel-agency operator in South Korea.
Seo Jin-ho, a travel-agency operator in South Korea, went to PlusToken conferences
Jin-ho gets a colleague who introduced him to PlusToken. This colleague believes that he will not regret investing in PlusToken and can earn 10% of profits every month. Jin-ho then bought $ 860 of cryptocurrency on the PlusToken. After that, Jin-ho started investing more, and in less than five months, he bought $ 86,000 of cryptocurrencies, cashing out only $ 500.
Seo Jin-ho shows the balance page of his account at PlusToken
However, this joy of Jin-ho does not last. In June 2019, Chinese authorities concluded PlusToken was a scam and arrested six Chinese citizens allegedly running the platform out of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. After that, PlusToken’s website stopped working, and people could not withdraw money. At this moment, Jin-ho and his friends lost access to everything.
While the story of PlusToken is still unclear, cryptocurrency analytics firm Chainalysis concluded that PlusToken is truly a Ponzi scheme. PlusToken mainly attracts investors in South Korea and China in 2018 and the first half of 2019. It netted at least $ 2 billion.
A blond-haired Russian, Leo, CEO at PlusToken. Leo had been an artificial-intelligence developer at Alphabet Inc.’s Google and had secured hundreds of millions of dollars of investment from the British royal family. And to easily attract investors, a group calling itself PlusToken Alliance posted a photo on its Facebook page that appeared to show Leo at a charity reception with Prince Charles in London in 2019. And probably thanks to marketing Looking like this, PlusToken has earned more than 180,000 Bitcoin, 6.4 million Ether, and 110,000 Tether. Calculating the prices at various times, investors deposited funds; those investments added up to $ 2 billion.
A group calling itself the PlusToken Alliance posted a photo on its Facebook page that appeared to show Leo at a charity reception with Prince Charles in London in 2019
Cryptocurrency fraud collected more than $ 4.3 billion in 2019
Ponzi schemes and other scams involving Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies lured at least $ 4.3 billion, according to Chainalysis. This is a huge number compared to the total of $ 3 billion in both 2017 and 2018. After the 2017 ICO scams and exchange hacking incidents in 2018, 2019 was a year of Ponzi schemes.
Bitcoin’s price once rose to nearly $ 20,000 in December 2017. However, the bubble burst shortly after. Even so, the Bitcoin explosion quickly attracted a large number of inexperienced investors. And these investors rapidly fall into the trap of scammers in the cryptocurrency market.
While projects like PlusToken attract the most money, smaller projects are still performing well. Gary Condry, a 70-year-old Army veteran in Wooster, Ohio, said he was victim of one of them in November. Condry has contacted a self-proclaimed Jason Hanley on social media. Hanley proactively asked Condry to invest in an investment website called cryptoinvestments247 and promised weekly payouts.
In late November, Condry gave Hanley $ 200 and $ 700 in early December. Within weeks, his account had risen to nearly $ 17,000. After that, Hanley began to demand more. He started asking Condry to pay an extra $ 1,700 before he would pay out Condry’s profits. However, this is not Condry’s agreement with Hanley. Therefore, after several angry text messages, he gave up trying to cash out his earnings, or even to recoup his original investment.
Text messages between Gary Condry and Jason Hanley, who promised exponential profit for trading small amounts of Bitcoin.
“I already lost it. I did not see it. I called the Ohio attorney general to report the events.”
After being summoned, Hanley declined to discuss Condry’s investment or cryptoinvestments247. Afterward, Hanley said he was a busy person and got no time for everything. An hour later, the Facebook account of Hanley was deleted. Then the Instagram account was gone.
In August, Jin-ho was among some 200 PlusToken investors who filed a complaint with prosecutors in Seoul to kick-start an investigation into the alleged scam. Others in the group are still hoping their PlusToken wallets will start working again. That false hope is killing people.
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