As we all know, cryptocurrencies bring a plethora of benefits no matter what industry they are used in but in much the same way as fiat currencies, they will still attract the unscrupulous kind that wants to get their hands on them in an unethical fashion.
In fact, the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies can make them more of a target which is why we always advise people to be extremely diligent with them. A big example of this is in a recent news story that has emerged from Thailand in which a cryptocurrency millionaire was allegedly scammed out of 5,500 Bitcoins worth a total of $24 million.
Just yesterday in the Bangkok Post, it was revealed that Aarni Ottava Saarimaa, a businessman from Finland had potentially been conned into handing that Bitcoin over as part of an investment that never actually materialized. In fact, it has emerged that a leading Thai actor is also alleged to have been involved which has led to the story gaining even more media coverage in the country.
Saarimaa had been approached by an investment group back in June of last year in regards to investing in a Macau-based casino, a number of Thai stocks and Dragon Coin, a cryptocurrency that was meant to be able to be used at the casino. The man was even shown this in action at the said casino and it was here that he became convinced that this was going to be a good investment opportunity.
He went ahead and sent 5,564 BTC in a transaction to an address for the group but after a number of months where he saw no return on his apparent investment, he got in touch with the Thailand Crime Suppression Division to file a complaint.
An investigation was launched by the CSD in Thailand and found that the group allegedly did not use the transferred BTC to make the investments that the man wanted and instead sold the BTC and transferred the money into seven different bank accounts.
It is not clear where, when and how the BTC was sold or transferred into fiat currencies but the total amounts seen in those bank accounts added to almost 800 million baht which has a value of $24 million dollars with today’s conversion rates.
The biggest twist in this story is that the popular Thai actor Prinya Jaravijit has been named by the CSD as the alleged ringleader of this scam. He has since fled to the US after being released following arrest and the Thai authorities are now speaking to US authorities in the hope of tracking him down in the country and bringing him back to face justice.
It would seem that these men went to great lengths to play their part well as an investment group and had obviously targeted this man purposely. The casino and the Dragon Coin cryptocurrency are both said to be looking for investment and were probably unaware of what these men were up to and instead believed themselves that they were acting on behalf of a highly interested investor.
Although most of you will not have accrued cryptocurrencies on the same scale as this Finnish businessman, it just goes to show that there are people out there that will be trying to get their hands on your portfolios using whatever methods necessary.
Scammers and scams are getting smarter by the week and holders should always be extremely careful about who and what they trust in the cryptocurrency industry. This man was duped into believing he was making shrewd investments only to then go and lose an astonishing amount of Bitcoin in one go.
Make sure you always do your research and never trust anyone enough to tell them how much your portfolio is worth. Furthermore, always make use of the most secure wallets and never keep your currencies in one place if at all possible.
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