More South Africans are reporting dodgy Bitcoin investment schemes to the police, following the BTC Global scam.
This is according to a report in the City Press, which quoted Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi on the matter.
The number of “suspicious cryptocurrency investment schemes” reported to police is increasing, and over 1,000 people who lost money in the BTC Global scam have submitted affidavits on the matter.
BTC Global, which promised extremely large returns over short periods of time if you sent them your Bitcoin, caught out over 27,000 people – including South Africans and Australians.
According to the Hawks, over $50 million was lost in the BTC Global scam – with South Africans investing between R16,000 and R1.4 million each.
A tree feller from Pretoria East said he put R100,000 into the scheme, when the “guaranteed 14% weekly returns” stopped coming in.
The City Press reported that another victim, a woman from Kempton Park, wanted to invest her pension payout in a high-return scheme, and a colleague suggested BTC Global.
She invested R62,000 in total – R30,000 for herself, R17,000 for her husband, and R15,000 for her son.
Of that, she lost R44,000 when BTC Global collapsed.
The City Press has now reported that more people “are coming in every day” with reports of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment schemes and how they lost money.
The warning signs of the latest Bitcoin schemes include financial rewards for recruiting new members, and larger payouts for larger numbers of investors in the pool.
To avoid becoming a victim to a Bitcoin scheme, thoroughly research before investing your money.
In the case of BTC Global, it was run by “master trader” Steven Twain. A search for Twain showed he did not exist, however.
The Consumer Protection Act also describes any scheme that offers returns of 20% above the repo rate as a “multiplication scheme” – otherwise known as a Ponzi scheme.