Fake hijack: 1.15 million US dollars in Bitcoin stolen

Turkish authorities have busted a Ponzi scheme centered around the memecoin DOGE.

A scam involving the cryptocurrency Dogecoin has occurred in Turkey. In the process, the damage is said to amount to over one billion Turkish Lira, according to tv100.com, a Turkish news site. On August 27, this corresponds to approximately 120 million US dollars. The main suspect lured investors with a Dogecoin mining system. He promised yield-seeking crypto investors picturesque profits and guaranteed anyone who deposited Dogecoin into his system a 100 percent return – within 40 days.

According to the report, the accused ensnared potential investors with meetings in luxury locations, set up his own Telegram group and organized face-to-face meetings. Ultimately, he managed to cheat 1,500 investors out of their deposits. The whole thing is similar to the Ponzi or snowball scheme scam. But even Ponzi did not promise his investors a return of 100 percent, in his case it was “only” 50 percent return and that too “only” in 45 days. The suspect allowed investors who wanted to see their money to cash out dividends from the scheme.

After four months, the alleged perpetrator had reportedly collected nearly 350 million Dogecoin from bona fide crypto investors this way. But after the fourth month, the prime suspect locked the system, investors no longer had access, nor could they withdraw “dividends.” The unsettled and confused Dogecoin mining system participants turned to a lawyer and the case ultimately landed at the Attorney General’s Office. The latter imposed a travel ban on the defendant and his lover, Gizem N., who was also on the run.

Introducing Ecem Ashyrova, a victim of the Dogecoin mining scam. The latter expressed to tv100.com:

I deposited four million DOGE into the mining system. Right now I’m sitting on a loss of 12 million TL (Turkish Lira; circa 1.43 million US dollars) (…).

Turkey: Cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin popular

In Turkey, cryptocurrencies are popular – almost one in five Turks are said to hold cryptocurrencies, according to a French study. In contrast, other European countries compared come in at just nine percent, and the US at eight percent. Further, according to the study, 45 percent of Turks plan to invest in cryptocurrencies in the coming years. As is often the case, where there are a lot of people interested in something, there are also people who want to exploit the interest and the search for returns. In the case of crypto-savvy Turkey, there have been major scams in the past. Investors should always be cautious about promises of returns, especially when 100 percent returns in under two months are prophesied were.