Despite the relatively new popularity of cryptocurrency, the criminals appear to be using tried and true ways of scamming people out of their money.
1. Bitconnect – $3.45 billion stolen
By far the biggest example of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) scam is Bitconnect.
Bitconnect proclaimed to be an open-source cryptocurrency that guaranteed investors 40 per cent returns.
However, Bitconnect unfortunately turned out to be a Ponzi scheme that cost its investors an incredible $3.45 billion.
2. Pincoin – $870 million stolen
Another major scam that rocked investors was Pincoin, a Vietnamese cryptocurrency that raised about $870 million from 32,000 people.
Rather than being paid back in cash, investors were rewarded with a new token called iFan, before the team behind Pincoin disappeared alongside all the invested money.
3. ACChain – $80 million stolen
ACChain was a highly promising ICO token created in Shenzhen, China, which managed to raise $80 million , but it quickly became clear that things weren’t as they seemed.
A picture of the ACChain headquarters was leaked and turned out to be nothing more than an empty room. By that point, the company suddenly went very quiet, vanishing without a trace.
4. Savedroid – $66 million thought to be stolen
At first glance Savedroid seemed like one of the most audacious ICO scams of all time, with founder Yassin Hankir posting an image of himself on a beach on social media with the caption “over and out”, suggesting that he had fled with his investors’ $66 million.
However, it appears that this was in fact a publicity stunt, but it still massively shook investor confidence and led to multiple lawsuits.
5. PlexCoin – $20 million stolen
The PlexCoin ICO scam was notable for the fact that it was shut down by the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and ordered to pay back much of the $20 millionthat it defrauded people of.
The ICO initially promised people an incredible return of 1,354 per cent which in hindsight probably should have seemed too good to be true.