The owners of the South African crypto company AfriCrypt have reportedly vanished and took off with 69,000 BTC.
Largest Exit Scam ever?
In April 2021, the two brothers who co-own the investment firm AfriCrypt, turned to their users, stating that the platform has been hacked, leading to a damage of 69,000 BTC, which were worth 3.6 billions USD at that time. This claim has since then lost most of its credibility, since the brothers cannot be reached anymore.
The South African law firm Hanekom Attorneys, who handle the case on behalf of the victims, believe the incident to be an exit scam, rather than a hack. By their account, employees of AfriCrypt had already lost access to the platform’s backend seven days before the alleged hack. The fact that the owners of AfriCrypt urged investors not to take legal action made the law firm even more suspicious. If proven true, this would make AfriCrypt the largest exit scam in history.
10% Daily Return too good to be true
Reportedly, AfriCrypt attracted new investors by promising them a whopping return of 10% on a daily basis. Additionally, the investment firm promised referral rewards for bringing in more customers. Unrealistically high returns like this should automatically make anyone suspicious, but greed and FOMO drive investors into the arms of fraudulent investment companies and crypto projects.
For the scammers, this is a highly profitable business model, as can be seen by the example of the TRON blockchain. Besides gambling, TRON is notorious for “high risk” investment platforms that typically promise daily returns on the same scale as AfriCrypt, but pull an exit scam shortly after their scheme has gained enough traction.
The success of these fraudulent schemes is a result of the huge influx of new and inexperienced investors over the last months. Just recently, the UK-based Financial Conduct Authority warned against unregulated crypto companies, which operate in a legal grey market.