A suspected ponzi scheme abusing bitcoin has gained attention in a local media platform in New Zealand. The pyramid scam involves new members ‘donating’ money in bitcoin (0.01 BTC or $25) with promised returns of 67.76 BTC (approx. $175,000) has reportedly roped in 1,300 members worldwide.
“Wegrowbitcoins is an online peer to peer donation system built for the welfare of the community,” the website states.
Describing it as a peer-to-peer donation platform, the website says it operates a platform which can be accessed by members for a monthly subscription fee. “Platform access allows members to receive donations directly into their bitcoin wallet from other members,” an FAQ added.
The Newshub publication looked into the operation with a focus on the Daniel Tepania, a truck driver lured into investing in “We Grow Bitcoins.” “It’s only been here about a month so I thought I would give it a go, sounded quite good,” Tepania explained. With his early investment, he is expecting to make returns while climbing to ‘level 3’ of the scheme. Returns, he says, that could make “about 200 grand a month and you can get that every month.”
Newshub contacted the country’s Commerce Commission, who said they had not received any complaints about the rich-rewards scheme. The publication cites New Zealand Consumer Law specialist Prajna Moodley who summed it up as a “simple scam.” He stated, “I’d go so far as to say it is just a simple scam. From what I can work out, this involves people investing money and never hearing form the company again.”
The New Zealand publication’s own investigation concludes that the operator is a man based in Texas, United States, who did not reply to the publication’s queries.
We conclude that as bitcoin continues gaining popularity with mainstream media awash with stories of early adopters now holding bitcoin valued in millions, it isn’t surprising to see new cryptocurrency-based scams promising aggressive returns take shape around the world.
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