The mainstreaming of cryptocurrency was a huge success in the year 2021. In the wake of the meme stock craze that took place in January, popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin enjoyed a prosperous year. Cryptocurrencies rose to new highs, catching the attention of people who may not have known about the industry before.
Cryptocurrency is, however, unpredictable. The stock market remains incredibly volatile, almost completely free of regulations that protect investors. Crypto newbies have flocked to this lawless wild west in droves over the past year, providing scammers with countless opportunities to profit at their expense.
Twitter has been used by scammers to trick new crypto-speculators into thinking Elon Musk is going to double their investment. However, that’s just a 2020 ruse. Some of those schemes seem childish in comparison with 2021.
Here are some of these scams. Note that they are not listed by the volume of the financial loss but by how outrageous they are.
- Squid Game token
What happens when you turn the biggest streaming television hit of the year into a cryptocurrency? Everyone will be interested in delving fully into the token.
As a result of the large flow of resources into the purchase of the token, the squid game token rose from a few hundred dollars to $3000. Major news agencies like CNN, Forbes was interested in the massive rise of the token.
Then emerged the issues. First off, the creators had no right whatsoever to use the name of the popular Netflix series as the name of their token. Also, investors complained of the inability to sell their quota of the token.
Although not everyone was blocked from selling, it availed the users more time to perform the popular “use and dump” scheme. The media coverage of the token as well as the massive loss of customers makes it one of the most devastating scams in 2021.
- SaveTheKids / FaZe saga
It is a norm for celebrities and social media influencers to be marketers of cryptocurrencies. An example was when a popular TikTok celebrity pushed the awareness of a cryptocurrency. The coin ended up being a pump and dump scheme. The SaveTheKids token saga was a massive scam of such nature.
Early in June of 2021, FaZe Clan members Kay, Teeqo, Jarvis, and Nikan started promoting a cryptocurrency based on a charity called SaveTheKids. In addition, these influencers did not simply type out a few tweets. They made promotional videos and provided images for the SaveTheKids website.
There was a simple sales pitch: Invest in this new crypto, which will be successful because it is connected to the biggest Esports brand on Earth and will raise money for children’s charities as well. The pitch made sense.
The only lag in the plan was that it was entirely false. It was a rug pull i.e. a situation when an asset is created with the intent of running away with it. A short while after the launch, the token plummeted as the initial investors and creators dumped their stakes on the token. The token immediately became worthless in the market.
This could have been labeled as a random altcoin scam until people noticed the trend that FaZe Kay has been promoting rug pulls for a long time.
Some gamers, such as Coffeezilla and SomeOrdinaryGamers, and others soon exposed a web of deceit that implicated FaZe Kay well beyond simply promoting the scam, but also in its creation.
FaZe Clan launched an internal review following the end of the saga that resulted in multiple suspensions and the expulsion of multiple members, including FaZe Kay.
- Crypto scam promoted by Adin Ross
Adin Ross is a popular Twitter influencer with millions of followers. He had at one time or the other received several criticisms over his streams on gambling and casino-related posts. He, at some point, accidentally leaked his messages showing he made quite a lot of money for promoting these contents.
May 2021, Adin Ross ventured into cryptocurrency by being the major promoter for an altcoin called MLF Token. He was paid several hundreds of dollars for live streaming the tedious process of him purchasing the token.
He, however, had a sharp change in content three weeks after showing he had withdrawn from the token.
- Poly Network hack
This was a very interesting hack. Late August, a hacker fished out an open loop in the decentralized platform of Poly Network. This loop allowed the hacker to transfer more than $600 million to their account. However, since the system runs on a blockchain, it was impossible for a movement that large to go unnoticed.
The hacker, however, reached out to the company notifying them of the security flaws in their system. They also made it clear that they intended to return the money. Poly Network dubbed the hacker “Mr. White Hat” as their actions signified, they are ethical hackers.
The money was later returned and all parties settled. The company rewarded the hacker with $500000 for returning the funds.
- Africrypt scam
This was a major scam that happened with two brothers, Raees and Ameer Cajee. They both established an investment firm in South Africa named Africrypt. The company, funds from investors as well as the two brothers are now missing.
It started in April 2021 where the Cajees reported that there is a supposed hack in their system which has compromised their clients’ accounts. This narrative didn’t play with the investors as they called out the Cajees for deceiving them.
The matter was taken to court as the investors claimed funds to the tune of $3.6 billion were stolen by the Cajee brothers. This particular figure is still in dispute but it doesn’t take away the fact that a large amount of money was stolen.
In the wake of these heists and crypto thefts, there is need to have your funds safeguarded and protected. Also, if you have been a victim of crypto scams or lost your funds through hacks and fraudulent attacks, there is a solution for you. Duo Labs are experts in hacking and funds recovery services. They are also specialists in the recovery of investment frauds, business frauds and cryptocurrency frauds.
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