Over 27‚000 cryptocurrency investors have fallen victim to one of the biggest Bitcoin scams to hit South Africa, TimesLive reported.
Hawks spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha confirmed the commercial crimes unit was investigating complaints against BTC Global‚ a company which asked investors to send their cryptocurrency to an online wallet address.
Many of the victims were South African, but the extent of the scam spread to the US and Australia.
“The amount is over $50 million and could rise as more victims come forward‚” said Ramovha.
He said the company was being investigated for violating the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, but could not confirm whether it was a Ponzi scheme or if the people behind it are South African.
Victims from South Africa told TimesLive they had invested between R16‚000 and R1.4 million with BTC Global.
BTC Global’s selling point was the skill of its “master trader” Steve Twain, whom many victims believe does not exist.
BTC Global promised investors that if they sent their Bitcoin to its wallet address they would receive guaranteed returns of 14% per week.
Its website now displays a message which states that Steven Twain is missing and calls for victims to stop threatening harm to the admin team.
A local retail stationer has contacted My Office News with a warning of attempted fraud.
The instance began with a request to quote on Monday 15 May 2017 from a certain “George Miller” of Quality Service cc.
He requested a quote for two taping applicator systems and 1 000 PVC 70mm lever arch files.
The retailer immediately became suspicious, as clients usually approach a wholesaler directly for that quantity of stock.
The retailer then began to research the company and discovered that the company name did not match up with the phone number provided.
However, the retailer e-mailed the quote to the address provided and thereafter received a purchase order with an address listed in Bellevue East.
When the retailer googled the address, it was for Raleigh Court in Yeoville/Bellevue East.
The retailer then confirmed with “George Miller” once again via e-mail that full payment was required, and they had to collect from the retailer’s offices once the order was ready.
Following that, the retailer received a proof of payment (POP) via e-mail that looked nothing like other POPs received from Standard Bank:
The retailer then sent all the evidence to the bank. A representative from Standard Bank’s Fraud division responded, saying “We would recommend that no goods released and also no services be rendered as the proof of payment is not valid. If you would like to pursue the matter, you may report the suspects to the SAPS in order for them to continue with investigating the individual.”
Please be wary when receiving large orders from unknown customers.
Have you ever seen posts on social networks or e-mails under your name that you did not send? Is your computer running slowly or do you often find your screen filled with pop ups?