Investments can bring some risks to some extent, but that doesn't mean getting scammed should be one of them. With the value of bitcoin skyrocketing in recent months, budding investors are eager to join in on the action, which puts them into a vulnerable position against a slew of scammers who are trying to lure people into bogus investment offers in record numbers.
From China's crackdown on mining operations on its mainland and some crypto exchanges going dark to hackers orchestrating the world's largest cryptocurrency heists, the crypto industry has had a hard few months, and another fraud case from Turkey has recently surfaced.
A suspect named Turgut V. has gone missing after collecting 1 billion TL ($119,140,730) worth of Dogecoin from about 1,500 people. Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that was created as a joke to mock the rampant speculation in cryptocurrencies at the time, and despite its satirical origin, some consider it a viable investment opportunity, mostly thanks to Elon Musk.
According to a report at TV 100, the number one suspect in the file, Turgut V., established a cryptocurrency system under the name of "Dogecoin mining" and promised investors a hundred percent profit in 40 days with his system.
Turgut V. organized one-on-one meetings and promotions in luxurious venues to attract investors and form relationships based on trust with them. Afterward, he gathered investors in a Telegram channel, and they transferred their Dogecoins to the system. For the first three months, the system worked well and the investors were able to regularly receive their dividends just as promised. This increased the number of investors, and overall, the system had around 1,500 people transferring their Dogecoins.
In the fourth month, the system, which had allegedly around 350 million Dogecoins with a market value of approximately 1 billion TL, was shut down abruptly by Turgut V. Investors trying to reach Turgut V. and other 11 suspects were met with silence since neither could be found.
Following the damages suffered by hundreds of people, Küçükçekmece Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into the incident and banned Turgut V. from going abroad.
This is another example of unreliable cryptocurrency exchanges going dark in Turkey. Back in April 2021, Vebitcoin and Thodex also went offline, leaving thousands of customers unable to access their accounts or withdraw money after they abruptly suspended operations. Crypto scams are also rising around the world, with the most recent one, starring martial arts star Steven Seagal, cheating 500 investors out of $11 million.