Criminals will often find their way to Bitcoin and anyone related to cryptocurrency. In Bangkok, it appears a new fake investment scheme is looking to defraud Buddhists. Several police reports have been filed pertaining to Buddhists being approached by a gang of criminals claiming to represent a Bitcoin investment fund. This is quite a troublesome development, especially when considering Bitcoin is not legal tender in Thailand.
Fake Bitcoin Investment Scheme Hits Thailand
It is not the first time we hear about fake investment schemes related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Most of the time, these schemes pertain to OneCoin, an imaginary currency which is, according to its representatives far better than Bitcoin. OneCoin is a well-known MLM scheme which is getting a lot of heat from governments and law enforcement agencies all over the world. It is only a matter of time until that scheme collapses altogether.
That being said, this Bangkok-based Bitcoin investment scheme is something else entirely. It appears a gang of criminals is purposefully targeting Buddhists visiting local temples. Various reports have been filed, which ultimately lead to an investigation by the Department of Special Investigations. It appears there is genuine concern regarding this investment opportunity, and rightfully so.
The Department of Special Investigation has officially acknowledged they are looking into this gang. Very little is known about the criminals running this scheme right now. However, it is believed all of these “investment fund” representatives are only claiming to be Buddhists as a way to look more legitimate to the temples’ visitors. If that is the case, this scheme has all of the markings of a professional large-scale operation.
It appears the gang approaches Buddhists as a way to gain their trust relatively quickly. Once they succeed in doing so, they will tell people about this “investment scheme” which apparently has ties with Bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency. It is evident this group has no legitimate intentions whatsoever, as they ask interested parties to invest at least 38,00 bath, or US$1,117. They claim this discount price will get investors one full Bitcoin, despite the market price hovering around US$2675 right now.
More importantly, anyone who invests in this fake program can expect a return on investment after 300 days. People who invest more money and refer others to do the same will evidently gain a higher return. On paper, this sounds like a clear pyramid scheme, although it is hard to tell what is going on exactly. What is rather noteworthy is how the gang claims a senior monk is one of their main investors. Additionally, they claim this Bitcoin investment fund is backed by a state bank, which is not the case.
Similar to other countries around the world, Thailand has no official Bitcoin regulation. This also means Bitcoin is not legal tender in the country. It doesn’t make any sense for a bank to back a cryptocurrency-related fund at this point in time. It appears nearly 1,000 Buddhist followers have invested in this fund already, even though the final tally could be a lot higher. Bitcoin is attracting a lot of attention, which also includes interest from criminals, unfortunately.
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