Fraudulent schemes in the cryptocurrency industry are not a new concept as they exist in every industry. However, the cryptocurrency industry is particularly vulnerable because it is a relatively newer industry and many consumers are not as educated about it as they should be. 

This is why, in recent times, reports have come out about various crypto-related scams that have conned investors of millions of dollars in some cases. The latest of these is from Maryland in the United States in which the FBI is investigating a $28 million Ponzi scheme that promised payouts in cryptocurrency.  

The Ponzi Scheme

A few details have been made public about the current case, including the alleged setup. The official press release details the company in question called Smart Partners LLC, which was formerly “1st Million.” The scheme was initiated by three men – Dennis Jali, John Frimpong, and Arley Johnson. 

Part of the operation was posing as pastors and seeking out victims during church and hotel events. They promised victims that their scheme would help their churches and members achieve financial freedom. The way that this was to be done was through investments in the cryptocurrency and foreign exchange market. 

However, this is dishonest and the funds were instead used to pay back previous investors, and no investments were made. This came to a head after the perpetrators were charged by both the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Now, the FBI has put out a public call for victims of the scheme so that they can gather more information and prosecute the criminals. 

Scams and the Crypto Industry

The lack of information that many have regarding certain industries often works in the favor of dishonest individuals such as in this case. The scam promised investments in the cryptocurrency and foreign exchange markets. 

Both are sectors that the average person does not know a great deal about, only that they are often profitable, which makes them more likely to be scammed. This is in addition to their posing as pastors in a bid to seem more trustworthy and then targeting churches and their members.

Hopefully, as the crypto industry becomes more popular, these scams will take place less frequently and become less effective on the masses.



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