Crypto scams are nothing new, and now several people are finding themselves facing jail time and other harsh penalties for allegedly taking part in a series of them within China and Malaysia.
Crypto Scams Keep Happening
Officials from the latter country have arrested approximately 14 separate individuals for their alleged roles in a series of crypto scams that took place over the span of several months. All individuals arrested are Chinese nationals that were living and working out of Malaysia, and arrests were made over the weekend after regulators had been monitoring the group for more than eight weeks.
According to law enforcement, the men taken into custody were claiming to be experienced bitcoin investors and were persuading unknowing victims into delivering their hard-earned money through WeChat.
Not only are the men being questioned over potentially stealing money, but according to their travel documents, few of them were permitted to exit China’s borders, which means they also likely broke jurisdictional rules somewhere down the line.
Police commission Dzulkhairi Mukhtar explained in a statement:
The suspects are aged from 20 to 30 with three of them having no valid travel documents. One of them would pose as a successful investor or mentor while the rest will pose as investors before creating a group chat through WeChat and QQ application for each of their victims. All of the suspects would then give a fake testimony to persuade the victim into investing.
For their financial crimes, the men face up to ten years in prison each along with caning, while for their opposition of travel rules, they face up to five years in prison, six whipping stokes and fines of roughly $2,000 each.
The situation is a classic case of taking the money and running, and sadly, this is relatively commonplace in the crypto industry, especially over the past two years when things have gotten much harsher in terms of theft rates. One recent case occurred last January, when a 75-year-old woman in the United Kingdom named Frances Foster was duped into giving her entire life savings to a potential bitcoin investment scheme that promised high returns.
Foster lost all her funds at a time when virtually every cent can make a potential difference, but as we’ve learned in the past, the promise of high returns is usually a hard-hitting red flag that everyone should question.
Always Question Every Investment Scheme
As we’ve seen in the crypto space, volatility is a major factor in how much you’ll wind up owning. Bitcoin, itself, has proven itself to be very volatile as of late, falling from $10,000 in February to about $3,800 in mid-May. It is currently trading for about $7,000.
Given how up-and-down crypto is, any company or scheme offering high returns should always be questioned.