ICO NEWS: ICO EXIT SCAMMERS MAKE OFF WITH $2M PLUS

Giza is the latest tech ‘startup’ to pull a fast one on investors who contributed almost two and a half million dollars worth of Ether (Ethereum’s native currency) during a recent ICO (initial coin offering). A fraudulent ICO was launched to crowdfund for a tech startup called Giza. Giza’s supposed mission was to develop a cryptocurrency wallet.

ICO NEWS: ICO EXIT SCAMMERS MAKE OFF WITH $2M PLUS

exit scam Giza

2,100 Ether coins

The ICO began in January and in about a month raised 2,100 Ethereum coins ,worth $2.4million USD, at the time. Investor concerns began to mount when Russian tech manufacturer Third Pin halted manufacture of Giza, citing a lack of payment for services as the reason.

Third Pin CEO, Ivan Larionov, made the announcement that the firm was putting an end to its work with Giza. Third Pin made arrangements to assist Giza with the design of its crypto gizmo and had reportedly quoted a price of $1 million. Needless to say, the money never showed up.

Gizmo used fake LinkedIn profiles to fool investors into believing that the project was legitimate. People began to get suspicious when the founders stopped responding to correspondence and Third Pin announced they’d cut ties with Gizmo. Allegedly, it was only when Third Pin upped their quote from $1 million to $1.5 million that Gizmo scammers finally said no and the relationship ended.

Well-organized scam

According to various commentators, this was a particularly well-organized scam which may explain its success. ICO scams are often poorly put together.

In fact, a recent scam actually used a stock image of A-list Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling on its site. Miroskii listed Gosling as Kevin Belanger, describing him as ‘an experienced graphic designer with a clear focus on identities and illustration’. See below:

ryan gosling kevin belanger

Reddit-dwellers were quick to pick up on the oversight but Miroskii still managed to raise some $830,000 in Ether during the short-lived ICO.

It’s important to be vigilant when investing in cryptos and ICOs as they have become a hotbed for exit scams and phishing hacks.

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