On a high vantage point with new lenses, it is seen. But when you are so close, too far, or even at a midpoint, it’s blurry and confusing. Too bad for most people who are driven to financial problems as life-changing sums are lost to elaborate crypto scams every day.
Kenya’s crypto market lacks clear rules for consumer protection, and as the uncertainty about the future of digital currency in the country persists, cryptocurrency traders and investors are exposed to systemic risks; the main and the most painful one is the outright loss of investment in high-profile disasters.
Well, the most recent crypto financial scam to be flagged is BTCM, a fake Bitcoin mining company that defrauded unsuspecting victims, taking big cash of unknown value because little has been done by the authorities. But what do you expect when the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) already issued a warning in 2015?
“Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin are not legal tender in Kenya, and therefore no protection exists in the event that the platform that exchanges or holds the virtual currency fails or goes out of business,” the public notice reads in part.
Now, the same crypto criminals are back in the lawless, fertile country of similar scams but under a new name, AG Bitcoin Miners. They retained their work of running a fictitious Bitcoin mining firm and the rates they offered to those wishing to get rich quickly.
Just like BTCM, AG Bitcoin Miners says they are on a poverty alleviation mission in Kenya, and on its listed offers, those who will be taken for a ride and pay Ksh1,000 will expect to receive Ksh1,880 at the end of 47 days, Ksh4,500 will be Ksh9,108 in a 46-day cycle, investors of Ksh13,000 will hopelessly get Ksh28,080 in 45 days up to the highest scam victim who will pay Ksh60,000 and wait in vain for Ksh149,640 at the end of 44 days.
The prospected earnings are reportedly paid out daily and start from Ksh40 to Ksh3,480, depending on the invested amount and referrals. It is exactly like BTCM, paying out lucrative interest rates of 188% to 249%.
That is not the only red flag. AG Bitcoin Miners has a secret website that is not traceable on Google. The cons and victims looking for people to refer mostly use WhatsApp with international phone numbers, and when they are grooming their next target, they present a make big money fast opportunity, claiming that AG is such a big crypto dealer listed in a certain stock exchange I don’t know where.
The unalerted Kenyans are then supplied with company registration documents with the owner’s name displayed as Mathew Shaw, a very famous successful businessman, according to AG Bitcoin Miners fraudsters, but he is not on any social media platforms, and Google has never heard of such a name.
Despite the victims getting lured with photos of employees at work, busy mining Bitcoin, this company has no LinkedIn page when large companies like that often hunt for workers in a broad market for competitiveness and to meet demand.
The photos, also put as testimonials on the website of AG Bitcoin Miners scam company, are the same pictures supposedly of a competitor, a London-based real crypto miner Argo Blockchain when it was opening its facility in Dickens County, Texas. They are posted on the Texas Tribune.
These are the telltale signs that AG Bitcoin is a fake crypto mining platform. Additionally, this company, which at the time of reporting was not yet available on specific word searches on social networks like X (to mean none has ever talked about), made over Ksh8 billion in 2021, as per phony financial statements on its web page.
Beware! AG Bitcoin Miners is not legit.