In a shocking revelation, a crypto scam that operated for five years in Himachal Pradesh has left thousands of investors in despair, with over Rs 200 crore ($25 million) allegedly swindled. Fraudsters enticed victims with promises of quick riches through investments in KRO and DGT coins, employing a Ponzi-style scheme that eventually unraveled. While arrests have been made, the mastermind behind this elaborate crypto con remains at large, leaving authorities to grapple with the complexities of unraveling this intricate web of deceit.
Himachal Pradesh Crypto Scam
According to PTI, thousands of investors fell prey to a cryptocurrency fraud in Himachal Pradesh, resulting in losses exceeding ₹200 crore ($25 million) over five years, beginning in 2018. Meanwhile, the scammers operated by luring individuals with the promise of high returns in exchange for investing in KRO and DGT coins, initiating a Ponzi-style recruitment process.
Meanwhile, independent MLA Hoshyar Singh raised concerns about the scam’s magnitude in the Vidhan Sabha, prompting the formation of a special investigation team (SIT) to delve into the matter. While the exact extent of the fraud remains uncertain, Deputy Inspector General of Police Abhishek Dhullar, heading the SIT, confirmed ongoing investigations.
Five individuals have been apprehended in connection with the scam, yet the alleged mastermind remains elusive. Notably, the fraudsters employed misinformation, deception, and threats to manipulate coin prices, ensnaring unsuspecting investors.
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The scheme began with ‘Korvio Coin’ or KRO coins, requiring buyers to pay an initial activation fee while guaranteeing significant returns. Notably, over five years, the scammers introduced several cryptocurrencies.
The scammers targeted the users with promises of higher gains. Once a user pays the activation fee to the platform, the fraudsters encourage the investors to recruit more participants, perpetuating the Ponzi cycle.
Meanwhile, fake websites and manipulated coin prices were employed to deceive investors. In addition, the scammers later launched ‘DGT Coin,’ raising prices before orchestrating a massive rug pull.
New coins and investment plans surfaced under different company names, including ‘Hypenext’ and ‘Aglobal,’ promoting each as a fresh investment opportunity. In 2023, police received 50 complaints about similar cryptocurrency scams in Himachal Pradesh, with a consistent modus operandi across cases.
However, five individuals have been arrested and charged, with eight FIRs filed during the ongoing investigation. Efforts are underway to apprehend the masterminds behind these cryptocurrency scams, including mapping their assets and conducting financial inquiries.
Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu warned against falling victim to cryptocurrency fraudsters. The cryptocurrency market has witnessed multiple rug-pulls in recent years, including the infamous 2021 Squid coin scam, where coin creators reportedly absconded with the investors’ money.
The shocking ₹200 crore crypto scam in Himachal Pradesh serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with digital currencies. As authorities close in on the masterminds, investors are urged to exercise extreme caution and skepticism when encountering investment opportunities in the crypto world, as the allure of quick riches can often lead to significant losses.
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