With the great fire of the concept of digital currency, all kinds of virtual currency and digital currency investment are becoming increasingly popular. Some criminals take advantage of investors’ mentality of pursuing high rates of return to deceive and woo investors to invest in fictitious virtual currency projects, which has become a new type of investment scam.
Forged projects to absorb money in a short time
In April last year, Ms. Wang, who has studied “Amber” investment, paid attention to a wealth management project called LVLC coin. According to the project’s publicity content, the product is “endorsed” by an investment consulting company and the British William Hill Group with the founder of a well-known domestic company as the shareholder, and Jia Mou, the founder of a Beijing Technology Co., Ltd., is the agent of the project in China. Ms. Wang said that the project claims a monthly interest of 10%, and the principal can go in and out without restriction.
At first, the doubtful Ms. Wang did not invest, but participated in several offline presentations held by the technology company. “In a public meeting, he said that LVLC financial products are very stable, the company has a strong risk control department, and the products are compliant and legal, to ensure the safety of everyone’s funds.” Ms. Wang said that Jia also showed that he has more than 4,000 bits in front of investors. Coin, everything has his Bitcoin underpinning.
Since July last year, Ms. Wang has successively invested more than 100,000 yuan in the project. She told Banyuetan reporters that judging from the large number of WeChat groups established by investors and the number of participants in offline meetings, about 2,000 people should have made the investment, with a total investment of more than 300 million yuan. “In October and November last year, the company held intensive offline conferences to encourage investors to invest in LVLC coins and mining machines, and coaxed investors to claim that the project party held a global conference in London, UK. Many’amber’ big names will attend the conference. A consensus will lead to better development, and prices will increase exponentially.” Ms. Wang said that at this stage, the project attracted the most money.
However, at the end of December last year, the app invested by LVLC suddenly failed to log in. Jia initially said that because of the system upgrade, he could not log in and withdraw cash, and then the app was shut down. Under the voice of doubt, Jia also claimed that he was also an investment victim, calling on investors to continue to follow him to invest in the virtual currency “Yitongbao” on another digital trading platform called CDEX to make up for the previous losses. However, a large number of investors, including Ms. Wang, realized that they had been deceived and began to defend their rights.
Similar investment scams have appeared in many places. According to a case reviewed by the People’s Procuratorate of Changning District, Shanghai, the victim, Ms. Yang, was deceived in a WeChat group, registered and opened an account on a virtual currency trading platform, and invested in a virtual currency called CCD, but the account was lost a few months later. Cleared, customer service also disappeared. It is understood that as of the incident, the criminal gang defrauded 15 victims including Ms. Yang, totaling more than 6 million yuan.
The game is very confusing, and it is difficult to fight and investigate
The Banyuetan reporter noticed that in such virtual currency investment scams, criminals are extremely good at disguising, and the scams are extremely confusing. In the case reviewed by the People’s Procuratorate of Changning District, Dai and others built a false digital currency trading platform overseas. Then, Yuan and others used QQ groups and WeChat groups to attract domestic victims into the live webcast room to exchange investment experience, and successively promoted false virtual currencies used for fraud to the victims.
At the same time, recruit Shi, Li, Li and others to impersonate investment customers in the WeChat group and the webcast room, and cooperate with the “instructor” to set off the atmosphere, create momentum, and defraud the victim’s trust. When the investment amount in the trading platform reaches a certain amount, it will be Shut down the trading platform “closed for harvest”. However, the so-called “shareholders” and “instructors” are all “tool people” trained in the unified language. They used the method of “raising a trumpet” and “casting a net widely” to capture victims like Ms. Yang.
In addition, criminals are also good at using the Internet to spread. In the LVLC project, public relations manuscripts “The Dark Horse Born Out of Amber: LVLC”, “LVLC Blockchain Mining, Financial Storm Strikes, etc.” articles abound. Ms. Jin, a native of Heilongjiang who invested about 3 million yuan in the project, told Banyuetan reporters that it was precisely because of these relevant reports that she had continuously deepened her trust in the investment in the project.
After the investment platform runs away, it will be more difficult for investors to protect their rights and for law enforcement agencies to crack down on investigations. The reporter from Banyuetan learned that in a case jointly cracked by public security organs in many places, the technical team, marketing team, and customer service team set up by criminal gangs that created the “Plus currency” for promotion are relatively independent, and are scattered across the country. Provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have brought great difficulties and resistance to the handling of cases. In addition, some virtual currency trading platforms have registered or set up their servers overseas, and the operating entities are relatively concealed. They frequently change website domain names and server addresses, and adopt methods such as online diversion and offline transactions to evade supervisory authorities. Since the registration place, office location, and business development area of its operating entities are often different, investors are often unable to determine the identity of the operator, and it is difficult to recover any property losses.
Increase investigations and crackdowns to remove the illusion of prosperity
The Banyuetan reporter learned that due to a certain degree of professionalism in investing in virtual currencies, a large number of investors have relatively fixed “circles” in some online forums and social software chat groups, which provides more convenience for criminals to accurately attract and defraud. Channels. For example, after the “Gaiwang” huge illegal fund-raising case was solved, many investment victims were looking for new investment channels, hoping to make up for their previous investment losses, and some criminals just saw the psychology of these investors into such forums. Or chat group, recommend fake items. Among them, some criminals use investors’ money to invest in Bitcoin and Ethereum for profit.
Some investors said that especially before the global “halving” of Bitcoin last year, there was a huge demand for funds for speculation, and there were more and more money-sucking scams of this kind. In this regard, some interviewees suggested that relevant departments such as financial supervision, market supervision, and public security should investigate and clean up similar projects as soon as possible, and promptly ban illegal projects without qualifications.
In addition, strengthen the review and management of the release of “endorsement” information related to the network platform. At the same time, strengthen publicity and education, and inform the public that such activities use financial innovation as a gimmick through case exposure, which is essentially a financial investment fraud that repays the old with the new. Once an investor discovers that any institution is involved in such illegal financial activities, it should promptly report to the relevant regulatory authorities, and should promptly report to the public security organs for suspected crimes.
Source: “Ban Yue Tan” Issue 11, 2021
Half a month to talk about reporter: Lu Chang | Editor: Li Li
Editor in charge: Guo Yanhui
Proofreading: Yang Jiannan