Online Crime: Multimillion rand Bitcoin scam in SA being investigated by Hawks

27 Mar

If you were caught up in the Bitcoin hype and invested some of your hard-earned money in recent months, you might feel shocked and disheartened to learn that some of the investment companies “selling” Bitcoin and other crypto currencies were/are nothing more than a scam.

One particular crypto scam is currently being investigated by the Hawks, SA’s elite policing unit. The company’s name? BT Global. If you were one of the many South African’s to invest with this company, it’s time to take note!

What Did BT Global’s Bitcoin Scam Involved?

BT Global seemed like a legitimate FOREX and commodities trading company to many investors in South Africa, Australia and USA. Investors have reported paying amounts of between R16 000 and R1.4m with BT Global’s “master trader”, Steve Twain. After investing the required amounts, investors were paid out irregular weekly payments until one day, Steve Twain simply vanished. There is speculation that Steve Twain never really existed.

On further investigation, the BT Global administrative team had posted on their social media pages that they could not locate Mr Twain and that meant thousands, even millions lost for many. The scam amounted to well over USD 50 million! BT Global is being charged with contravening the Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services Act.

According to the Hawks, it’s early days for the investigation and it is hoped that more can be found out about Steve Twain in the upcoming weeks.

The Risk Attached To Crypto Currency

Anyone investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency has certainly been aware of the potential risk. According to Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft), the real risk of digital currencies such as Bitcoin is that they have an anonymous nature and this means that tracking it can be quite difficult.

In fact, such currencies are already being used to purchase deadly drugs and other illegal products.

Does This Mean The End Of The Road For Bitcoin In South Africa?

Such scams don’t need to necessarily scare off crypto currency investors. A situation such as this simply highlights the fact that greater care should be taken when investing in any digital services and products.

You wouldn’t trust your thousands or millions of rand to a stranger on the street, so make sure that you research and investigate any investment, FOREX and commodities companies that you plan to work with. Just as you would do your research before entrusting your data to a cloud backup service!

Have you had a good or bad experience with Bitcoin investing? Let us know what you’ve found out and experienced along the way.

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