Over 27‚000 cryptocurrency investors have fallen victim to one of the biggest Bitcoin scams to hit South Africa, TimesLive reported.
Hawks spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha confirmed the commercial crimes unit was investigating complaints against BTC Global‚ a company which asked investors to send their cryptocurrency to an online wallet address.
Many of the victims were South African, but the extent of the scam spread to the US and Australia.
“The amount is over $50 million and could rise as more victims come forward‚” said Ramovha.
He said the company was being investigated for violating the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, but could not confirm whether it was a Ponzi scheme or if the people behind it are South African.
Victims from South Africa told TimesLive they had invested between R16‚000 and R1.4 million with BTC Global.
BTC Global’s selling point was the skill of its “master trader” Steve Twain, whom many victims believe does not exist.
BTC Global promised investors that if they sent their Bitcoin to its wallet address they would receive guaranteed returns of 14% per week.
Its website now displays a message which states that Steven Twain is missing and calls for victims to stop threatening harm to the admin team.