Over 100,000 Investors Lost 1T Rupees to India’s Mega Ponzi Scam
The magnitude of India’s GainBitcoin Ponzi scam that shook the nation in the past is turning out to be way bigger than anticipated. An IANS report suggests that more than 100,000 victims have lost over Rs 1 trillion to the scam.
The sheer size of the #GainBitcoin scam that rocked the nation some time back is turning out to be way bigger than thought, with reports suggesting that around 1 lakh victims may have lost more than Rs 1 trillion in the scam. pic.twitter.com/wvdZzebuSv— IANS (@ians_india) June 16, 2022
As of now, the number of victims is gauged by the FIRs lodged against the GainBitcoin, which adds up to a total of 40 FIRs. 13 of them from Maharashtra alone, followed by Punjab and the rest of the country. The exact number of people who lost their hard-earned money to the scam is yet unknown.
GainBitcoin’s cryptocurrency investment fraud worth Rs 20 billion was initially unearthed in 2018. Since then, the reported amount of money scammed by the company has been ever-rising. Reportedly, the police have traced 60,000 user IDs and email addresses linked to this ponzi scam.
Late Amit Bhardwaj, the mastermind behind this scam who died earlier this year, has allegedly collected bitcoin (BTC) between 385,000 to 600.000, which amounts to more than Rs 1 trillion. However, this amount may even be bigger as currently BTC’s price remains volatile due to the market conditions and has dropped from its all-time high of around $68,000 in November last year to $20,000 as of now.
Alike other Ponzi schemes, GainBitcoin too ran under a multi-level marketing-pyramid scheme, with Amit Bhardwaj in the leading position followed by his close associates AKA the ‘seven stars’ who operated in India and abroad.
The scheme guaranteed a 10% monthly return on BTC-to-BTC deposits for 18 months via pyramid programs. This enticed investors to lend BTCs to the company in the desire to earn more ROI within the aforementioned period.
However, the model was flawed since there are only a limited number of bitcoins available. Yet several investors choose to put their funds into the scheme only to soon realize the grave mistake they had committed.
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