Thirty people in Bangkok filed complaints with Thailand’s Technology Crime Suppression Division after they were allegedly scammed by cryptocurrency cloud mining company CryptoMining.Farm, the Bangkok Post reported. A total of 140 victims were allegedly scammed out of more than $1.3 million.
The allegations state that the investors were swindled out of 42 million Baht—about $1.34 million. These forty complaints are part of a suspected group of 140 people who fell victim to the purported scheme.
The company is believed to be operated by Lifetime Technology Co. Ltd, as stated on their website, which according to the complaint is linked to the potential owner Pimongkol Tawpibarn. CryptoMining.Farm listed an office in Bangkok, as well as another in Chiang Mai, suggesting that the service is legitimate.
One of the complaints filed, as explained by the Bangkok Post, stated that the service promised “guaranteed returns” of 70 percent per year. The terms and conditions of the service stipulated that investors could withdraw their money at any time, offering investments ranging from three months to lifetime mining contracts.
“But from August [of 2018] the owner began imposing conditions for withdrawing the money,” one victim claimed. “Then at the start of this month, the site announced it would start paying back investors in 84 installments—which would take over seven years to complete.”
Cloud mining Ponzi schemes are prevalent in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and continue to lure in victims with promises of high guaranteed returns, despite warnings from regulators and vocal crypto community members.
Earlier this month, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB), released a report showing that it entered 16 administrative orders, involving a total of 60 individuals and entities, associated with alleged cryptocurrency scams including cloud mining schemes. The annual report also called attention to several more recent enforcement actions, warning investors of new, fraudulent “hybrid” schemes:
“Some international cryptocurrency promoters even found sales agents in the oil patch. According to a Nov. 6 emergency action taken against an Australian promoter of cryptocurrency mining contracts, the firm’s sales agents included members of the West Texas Oilfield Cloud Miners Club in Midland,” the report concluded.
The TSSB is the same organization that took down high-profile cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme, BitConnect.
Regulators have started to crack down on these scams. However, despite regulators’ best efforts, there are still many scams taking advantage of the uninformed. These scams prey on people’s greed; If it’s too good to be true, especially in the cryptocurrency world, then be on alert for fraud.