Cryptocurrency investors in South Africa have lost over $50 million in Bitcoin after a company by the name BTC Global allegedly pulled an exit scam on said investors. Majority of the over 27,500 investors were South Africans but the extent of the scam spans to the US and Australia.
It is believed that BTC Global created a fictional character by the name Steve Twain, who was positioned as a master trader with the task of enticing investors to hand their money to them. BTC Global asked investors to send Bitcoins to the company’s wallet address and they would receive a guaranteed return of 14% every week.
Reports from victims indicate that they were receiving the said weekly payouts until about two weeks ago when Steve Twain vanished off the face of the
internet earth. The victims said that individually, they had lost between R16,000 and R1.4 million, which they had invested in BTC Global.
“I have spoken to one of the investigators on our team and he has confirmed that this matter came to them about two weeks ago. There are in excess of 27‚500 complainants with many outside South Africa. The amount is over $50-million and could rise as more victims come forward‚” said Captain Lloyd Ramovha, Hawks (South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) spokesman, confirming the incident.
At the moment, BTC Global’s website claims that they too have lost contact with Steve Twain. Part of the statement reads;
We are as shocked and angry as everyone. But we all knew the risks involved in placing funds with Steven. We all became complacent with Steven. And all of us funded him independently. Until Steven Twain resurfaces or is found there is nothing the admin team can do.
The company goes ahead to urge the investors to stop threatening them. “We call for the threats, harassment and violence on leaders and admin to stop… If you feel you’ve had a crime committed against you, you need to follow the legal procedures to deal with the matter,” reads the statement.
It’s not the first time we have seen such scams involving cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum where people have lost millions. Here are a few that we have covered: