It’s a scheme that sounds almost too good to be true: South African women, many of them naïve to the ways of cryptocurrency, are convinced to invest in Botswana pula coins. These pula coins, of course, are not real, but it doesn’t matter because they are given back to the women after a short period of time, which is how the scammer earns their trust. The women are then paid back in what they think are bitcoins, but these too are just pula coins, and so the cycle continues.
A group of investors in South Africa recently admitted to losing money to a brazen scammer who had convinced them to buy and hold virtually worthless physical coins. The coins, denominated in the common currency Bostan, were initially sold to a group of South African women in 2019, when bitcoin was only worth $3,500.
However, according to the report, the fraud was only discovered when one of the members of the group, known only by the name Liseth, tried to collect her money after she lost her job. Liseth explained:
I lost my job and decided to sell a bitcoin that had doubled in value (and then) I found out that I had bought two 5 pula coins for $6,988 (R100,000) and now the Nigerian who scammed us is nowhere to be found.
Liseth adds that before the women figured out the scam, the scammer had told them that what they were doing was called hodl by investors and that if the price was right, people would fight to buy the coins from us. It was this confidence that led Liseth, who had waited patiently to become a millionaire, to take out the loan with which she bought the coins.
At the same time, the report quotes an unnamed police officer in the country who also confirmed that the physical coins in question were indeed Botswana pula coins. The police also stated that the information (has been removed) and the letters BTC (now) are engraved in it.
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bitcoin, bitcoin fraud, boastana pool, BTC, fake bitcoin, fake BTC, HODL, law enforcement, fraud, South Africa, South African investors
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